Supreme Court blasts Bengal in jobs case: 'Systemic fraud, people will lose faith'

The Supreme Court remark came while hearing petitions challenging the Calcutta High Court's order cancelling the jobs of over 25,000 teachers in Bengal schools.
Supreme Court blasts Bengal in jobs case: 'Systemic fraud, people will lose faith'
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The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up West Bengal government authorities over the school jobs recruitment case, calling it "systemic fraud". The Supreme Court said the authorities were duty-bound to maintain digitised records related to the appointment of 25,753 teachers and non-teaching staff in Bengal's government-aided schools.

The Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, was hearing petitions challenging the Calcutta High Court's order cancelling the jobs of over 25,000 teachers and non-teaching employees in Bengal schools.

The Mamata Banerjee-led government has said the High Court cancelled the appointments "arbitrarily".

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Supreme Court blasts Bengal in jobs case: 'Systemic fraud, people will lose faith'

"Nothing remains if the faith of the public goes. This is systemic fraud. Public jobs are extremely scarce today and are looked at for social mobility. What remains in the system if their appointments are also maligned? People will lose faith. How do you countenance this?" the CJI asked the lawyers representing the Bengal government.

The top court said the government had to maintain supervisory control over the recruitment.

"Either you have the data or you do not have it... You were duty-bound to maintain the documents in digitised form. Now, it is obvious that there is no data. You are unaware of the fact that your service provider has engaged another agency. You had to maintain supervisory control," the bench said.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court refused to pass any interim order staying the Calcutta High Court's April 22 judgment.

However, the top court directed that no precipitative action would be taken by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the officials allegedly involved in approving the creation of super-numeric posts till the next date of listing.

Last month, the Calcutta High Court cancelled the appointment of teachers recruited through the 2016 School Service Commission and asked them to return the entire salary drawn, along with an annualised interest of 12 per cent.

The court also directed the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) to start the recruitment process afresh and ordered the CBI to carry on with its investigation into the matter.

Source: India Today

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