RAWALPINDI, Jan 6: Justice Saghir Ahmed Qadri of Lahore High Court`s Rawalpindi bench on Friday suspended the notification of Punjab government that bounded teachers to get approval from the district coordination officer (DCO) for availing leave instead of their principals.
After preliminary hearing a petition of about 50 schoolteachers from the Rawalpindi district, the court also issued notices to the secretary education Punjab, the DCO and EDO (education) Rawalpindi and directed them to submit their replies in a week and adjourned the hearing till January 19.
Aosaf Ahmed Satti, a teacher and president Punjab Elementary Teachers Association Rawalpindi region, through his counsel Raja Saimul Haq Satti maintained before the court that the provincial government on December 17, 2011, introduced a policy under which it directed the teachers of Rawalpindi district to get approval from the DCO for availing leave.
The notification created confusion, tension and unrest among more than 13,000 teachers, he added. A large number of teachers are just hand to mouth due to the rising inflation and the new policy is causing more hardships to them.
“In case a teacher falls ill how he/she can approach the DCO instead of visiting a doctor,” he asked.
The petition said teachers were also serving in far-flung schools and would not be in a position to comply with such orders.
He said the government introduced this police for Rawalpindi district only; therefore, it was discriminatory and in violation of Articles 4, 18 and 25 of the Constitution.
He requested the court to declare the policy unconstitutional and also order appropriate action against those officials of the education department who tried to deprive the teachers of their rights and caused hardship to them.