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SC delays Ayodhya dispute hearing to August 15; SC refuses to regularise Bihar contractual teachers’ pay - Current Affairs

The time extension was granted following a request by the Chairman of the mediation panel, Retired SC judge, Justice F M Khalifullah.

May 10, 2019 11:21 IST
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Story 1- SC grants time extension for mediation in Ayodhya case till August 15

The Supreme Court of India on May 10, 2019 extended the time given to the mediation panel to come up with an amicable solution in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case till August 15, 2019.

The decision was taken by a five-judge constitution bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S A Bobde, Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and Abdul Nazeer. It came after the three-member mediation panel submitted its interim report on the issue, in a sealed cover on May 9.

Key Highlights

The matter came up for hearing on May 10 for the first time since the last hearing on March 8, when the top court had referred the case to the mediation panel.

The time extension was granted following a request by the Chairman of the mediation panel, Retired SC judge, Justice F M Khalifullah.

Besides Justice F M Khalifullah, the other two members of the panel include spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Sankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu.

The top court had formed the three-member panel to find a solution to the long-standing dispute, which is acceptable by all parties.

The panel was constituted after the court observed the lack of consensus between the parties in the matter.

The mediation proceedings were held confidentially and the court had banned the media from reporting it.

The proceedings were directed to be held in Faizabad, newly renamed as Ayodhya, where the disputed site is located.

The status report of the hearings was to be submitted to the court within the time of four weeks.

Background

The Supreme Court had on March 8, 2019 decided to refer the Ayodhya-Babri Masjid title dispute case for mediation.

The apex court formed a panel of mediators to resolve the issue and asked them to conduct in-camera proceedings and complete the mediation within a period of eight weeks.

The court also directed that the mediation proceedings should be conducted with the utmost confidentiality for ensuring its success.

Mediation Process: Who is in favour and who is not!

While the Muslim petitioners welcomed the apex court’s decision on mediation, Hindu bodies except for the Nirmohi Akhara and the Uttar Pradesh government opposed the suggestion.

The Hindu bodies opposed the idea of mediation by arguing that the earlier attempts of reaching a compromise failed and provisions of Civil Procedure Code (CPC) require public notice to be issued before the start of process.

The decision for mediation was taken while the apex court was hearing appeals against the verdict of Allahabad High Court, delivered on September 30, 2010. The high court verdict had then ordered a three-way division of the disputed Babri Masjid- Ayodhya land between the Nirmohi Akhara sect, the Sunni Central Wakf Board, Uttar Pradesh and Ramlalla.

Supreme Court approves mediation in Ayodhya land dispute case

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Story 2- SC squashes equal pay for equal work plea of Bihar contractual teachers

The Supreme Court on May 10, 2019 refused to regularize the jobs of nearly 3.5 lakh contract teachers in the government schools of Bihar.

The apex court with its decision set aside the order of the Patna High Court, in which it had ruled that these contract teachers are entitled to a salary that is at par with the regular permanent teachers.

Key Highlights

  • The 3.5 lakh contractual teachers, who were hired on consolidated pay, had put forward a demand of equal pay for equal work.
  • The teachers claimed that they should also be given the same salary and benefits as the regular teachers as they were doing the same work and had the same educational qualification.
  • The Supreme Court heard 11 petitions on the matter before coming to its verdict.

Patna High Court Ruling

The high court of Patna had earlier ruled that the contractual teachers in Bihar were entitled to get a salary that is at par with that of the regular permanent teachers working in various government schools in Bihar.

However, the Bihar government had filed a petition in the top court against the High Court's decision.


Background

In the hearing held in 2018, the Supreme Court had directed the Centre and the Bihar State government to come together and mutually take a decision on the salary of the 3.7 lakh contractual teachers upon the directive issued by Patna High Court.

The Bihar government later challenged the Patna High Court’s order on the issue but the court issued an order stating that the state government must follow ‘equal work equal pay’ rule and pay the teacher’s salary accordingly.

Presently, the salary of contractual teachers teaching from Class I to VIII is between Rs 14,000- Rs 19,000. The teachers, who are paid in the grade, include both trained and non-trained ones.

Had the equal pay for equal work rule been enforced, the salary of these teachers would have increased till about Rs 40,000.

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