While noting the fact that the Punjab Education Department had used the word "mistress" while seeking applications from candidates for appointment to teacher posts in the state, the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Thursday (18 June) asked the department as to "what steps can be and/or are proposed to be taken, in accordance with law, for change of designation."
Justice Arun Monga was hearing a petition filed by Maan Singh and others that their candidature be also considered for the posts of 'Master Cadre' by granting them age relaxation.
While hearing the case of petitioners, the Court noticed that the advertisement dated 21.02.2020 (issued by the Education Department, State of Punjab), yet again had used nomenclature "Mistress" for the female teachers to be appointed in School.
The Court further noted that this advertisement has been issued even when the Court earlier in a case in 2018 (CWP No. 9939 of 2014) had raised a query as to why can there not be a more dignified designation viz. a teacher or school teacher, who can be further sub-specified as English Teacher, Mathematics Teacher, History Teacher and likewise, instead of using the words "Master or Mistress".
However, the Court acknowledged the fact that the specific notice qua change of nomenclature/designation was issued to State of Haryana as the said CWP pertained to the State of Haryana only.
In light of these facts, the High Court, in its order said
"The Secretary of Education department, State of Punjab shall file a separate specific affidavit in this regard, as to what steps can be and/or are proposed to be taken, in accordance with law, for change of designation, as noted above. Affidavit be filed on or before the next date of hearing."
Further, the matter was adjourned for 13-July-2020.
It is interesting to note that recently, the Punjab and Haryana High Court came down heavily upon the Police authorities in the state for using a racial slur while referring to an African national accused in a criminal case under the NDPS Act.
Justice Rajiv Narain Raina had observed, "I am appalled to find the term 'XXXXX' used while referring to an African national in the challan papers presented under Section 173 Cr.P.C before the trial court in an NDPS case. This is a highly offensive word across the globe and no one has any business to use it, and much less the police."
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