Calcutta High Court Cancels 2016 Recruitment Panel for School Teachers

National Desk, 22nd April: In a significant development, the Calcutta High Court on Monday nullified the entire 2016 recruitment panel for school teachers formed by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSCC) in connection with a jobs scam. Nearly 24,000 positions have been revoked by the court.

During the proceedings, a division bench comprising Justices Debangsu Basak and Md Shabbar Rashidi ruled that teachers recruited illegally (using blank OMR sheets) must return their salaries within four weeks. The responsibility of collecting the funds from these teachers lies with the district magistrate.

The scrapped recruitment panel includes all appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff, selected through a WBSC entrance examination in 2016, for various state-government-sponsored and aided schools in Bengal.

Additionally, the bench mandated the re-evaluation of approximately 23 lakh OMR sheets (test papers) from the recruitment entrance exam.

Rejecting a plea for a stay on the order, the bench also instructed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct further investigations into the appointment process and submit a report within three months.

The WBSSC has been directed to initiate a fresh appointment process.

Over 23 lakh candidates participated in the 2016 State Level Selection Test (SLST) organized by the WBSSC for more than 24,000 vacant positions.

Following the court’s verdict, hundreds of job aspirants, eagerly awaiting outside the court premises, celebrated the decision.

The High Court concluded the case’s hearing on March 20, with the judgment being reserved by the division bench. The CBI’s involvement in the case was initiated by an earlier court order. Notably, the federal agency had apprehended former Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee in 2022 for his alleged involvement in the scam.

Former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Ganguly, currently a BJP candidate from Bengal’s Tamluk constituency in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, had directed the CBI investigation into the case.

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