ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry on Friday observed that though the Punjab government is investing in the education sector but for the last many days the Apex Court hearing Divisional Public School (DPS) teachers low salary case but the Chief Executive of the province has not come forward to resolve it.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry heard the suo motu case, taken over the application of Divisional Public School’s teachers. According to the application a teacher in that school is getting Rs 4,500 salary per month, which is lower than the monthly wage of a labourer.

The Chief Justice said it is the responsibility of the Chief Minister to address this issue, adding, it seems the Constitution is not being implemented.

“It is the duty of the Chief Executive of the province, who has taken oath under the Constitution that says there should be no exploitation and discrimination,” he added.  Justice Jawwad S Khawaja said: “if we would not follow the Constitution then there will be exploitation.” The court questioned why the salary of DPS teachers is low, while they are producing 100 per cent result.

Justice Jawwad S Khawaja remarked there are some schools in the Punjab whose result is zero per cent but salary of school teachers is high. Punjab Chief Secretary Nasir Mehmood Khosa appeared before the court alongwith Commissioner Sargodha Division Shaukat Ali.

Khosa told the court that some technicalities are involved, but assured to resolve the matter.

He said: “we want to do away with the discrimination and remaining within the existing law I would try to resolve the matter through the board of the school.”

He ,however, requested the court to give some time.

The Chief Justice allowing his request directed Khosa to resolve teachers salary issue in five days, saying the court will protect fundamental rights of the teachers, guaranteed in the Constitution.

During the course of proceedings, the Chief Secretary told the bench that Divisional Public School, Sargodha, is an autonomous body.

He further informed that total there are 43 public schools and 9 DPS schools in the province and registered with the Punjab Education Department. They are run through their own resources, he added. The Chief Justice asked Khosa to provide grant in aid to the DPS.

Chief Secretary further said if the government was to allocate finance to one divisional school then it would also have to allocate funds to over 100 NGO schools.

Turning down the reply of the Chief Secretary, CJP observed sarcastically, “shut down the schools if you can’t raise salaries – if you are helpless then provincial Chief Executive would be questioned over the issue.”

Iftikhar remarked that a teacher in the DPS Sargodha getting only Rs 5,000 per month salary, adding, they are being exploited for last 19 years, which he termed against the law of equity.

After issuing directions to Chief Secretary to submit a response in the matter in 3 days the bench adjourned the hearing till Aug 15th.