Teachers' recruitment scam: Bengal goes to Supreme Court after 24,000 jobs axed

The West Bengal government has approached the Supreme Court after the Calcutta High Court cancelled the appointments of over 24,000 teachers and staff.
Teachers' recruitment scam: Bengal goes to Supreme Court after 24,000 jobs axed
Jaano Junction

Two days after the Calcutta High Court cancelled appointments of 24,000 teachers and non-teaching staff in West Bengal schools, the state government on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court's order.

In its plea, the Bengal government alleged that the High Court, based on oral submissions and in the absence of any affidavit on record, had arbitrarily cancelled the appointments.

The state government also alleged the High Court cancelled the entire selection process with immediate effect without giving sufficient time to the government to deal with the present education system or make any necessary arrangements.

Also questioning the court's directions to undertake a fresh selection process within a fortnight of the declaration of the Lok Sabha election results.

On Monday, the Calcutta High Court had ordered the cancellation of all appointments made through the recruitment process of State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools, declaring it as "null and void".

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Teachers' recruitment scam: Bengal goes to Supreme Court after 24,000 jobs axed

A division bench comprising justices Debangsu Basak and Md Shabbar Rashidi also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to undertake further investigation in respect of the appointment process and submit a report in three months.

Over 23 lakh candidates had appeared for the SLST-2016 for 24,640 vacant posts.

"Schedule of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 prescribes that the appropriate government is bound to maintain the Student to Teacher ratio of 40:1 at the elementary level. As a standard practice, the same ratio is also maintained by the State at the Secondary level," the state government's plea read.

"The High Court has failed to appreciate that the Petitioner State is bound to maintain such student-to-teacher ratio for effective impairment of knowledge."

The West Bengal government, in its plea, clarified that even the investigation by the CBI did not have anything.

"The High Court failed to appreciate that the material placed on record by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and CBI after extensive scrutiny by no stretch of the imagination, indicates that the entire selection process was tainted and as a consequence, all the appointments made thereto suffer from grave irregularities. In fact, the High Court proceeds on the premise that further scrutiny of the selection might reveal more irregularities, which is purely based on conjecture and surmises and not supported by any cogent material on record," it stated.

The CBI has arrested former state education minister Partha Chatterjee and some functionaries, who held positions in SSC when the alleged scam took place.

Source: India Today

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