RAWALPINDI – Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi Bench Thursday issued notices to Secretary Health and Secretary Education Punjab in a contempt of court petition filed by 150 schoolteachers facing departmental action for not taking part in polio eradication campaign and electoral duties in the division.

LHC Rawalpindi Bench Justice Ibad-ur-Rehman Lodhi ordered the two Secretaries, District Coordination Officer (DCO) Rawalpindi, Director General (DG) Health Punjab, Executive District Officer (EDO) Health Rawalpindi and EDO Education to submit their written replies in seven days.

Saim-ul-Haq Satti Advocate, while talking to TheNation, said that the LHC had sought the response of the officials in the contempt of court petition filed by Ausaf Ahmed.

The petitioner along with other schoolteachers have maintained before the court that district government has been asking them to carry out duties for campaign against polio and preparing electoral rolls despite the fact that the court had stopped the government from deputing teachers for any thing other than teaching the students in schools.

The LHC on July 26, 2012 in its order had stopped the officials from taking any punitive action against the teachers after they refused to carry out polio duties during summer vacations.

The DCO and the EDO Education initiated departmental action against the teachers after they did not attend polio duties. This led the teachers knock at the door of the high court.

Soon after the end of summer vacations the district administration had called different meetings asking the teacher to join polio duties in violation of the court orders, the petitioners have argued.

They have prayed to the court to direct the education and health authorities not to force teachers for duties other than they are being paid for and start contempt of court proceedings against them for violating court orders.