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WB Gov Moves Division Bench Of Calcutta HC Challenging Single Bench's Order On CBI Probe Into Irregularities In Non-Teaching Staff Appointments

Aaratrika Bhaumik
23 Nov 2021 2:41 PM GMT
WB Gov Moves Division Bench Of Calcutta HC Challenging Single Benchs Order On CBI Probe Into Irregularities In Non-Teaching Staff Appointments
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The West Bengal government on Tuesday moved a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court challenging a Single Bench order wherein a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe was ordered into the alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' (non-teaching staff) in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary...

The West Bengal government on Tuesday moved a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court challenging a Single Bench order wherein a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe was ordered into the alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' (non-teaching staff) in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on the purported recommendation by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBSSC).

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Monday had directed the CBI to submit a preliminary report in this regard by December 21. The Court had also ordered for an enquiry committee to be set up to probe into the alleged irregularities in appointments.

"I direct the Director, Central Bureau of Investigation to constitute a committee, headed by an officer not below the rank of a Joint Director, with officers not below the rank of DIG to initiate the enquiry. It is expected that no person will be left out of this enquiry. CBI should also enquire a very important part of this serious illegality and irregularity as to whether there is any money trail in issuance of such recommendation letters and subsequent issuance of appointment letters to the persons", the Single Bench had observed.

The State government, WBBSE and WBSSC jointly moved the Division Bench comprising Justices Harish Tandon and Rabindranath Samanta on Monday and sought the Court's leave to challenge the impugned order of the Single Bench. The appeal is slated to be heard later this week. 

In a strongly worded order, Justice Gangopadhyay had observed that 'corruption writ large in the whole process of this public employment which is required to be dealt with in a firm hand'. It had further underscored, 

"Which is that invisible hand who prepared and sent the recommendation letters to the Board's office and which are the invisible hands who issued the recommendation letters as have been annexed under the signature of the Chair Person of the Regional School Service Commissions as has been disclosed by the Board?"

Emphasising on the need to conduct a probe by an impartial agency, Justice Gangopadhyay had further remarked, 

"This is a matter of Education Department which is a State department and in such matters to instill confidence in the public as to the fairness in the appointment in posts for which money from the public exchequer would be spent there should be one enquiry by an impartial agency. I observe that the miscreants, there must be some persons behind this whole corrupt affair, whatever be their position in the society or in the polity, cannot be really political persons - they can take shelter under different political parties. So CBI should look into the extreme irregularity in this appointment from that angle also"

Background 

In 2016, the State government had recommended the appointment of about 13,000 non-teaching staff in different government aided schools and accordingly the WBSSC had conducted examinations and interviews periodically and thereafter a panel had been constituted. The term of the panel had ended in 2019.  However, subsequently, there were widespread allegations that the Commission had made several irregular recruitments close to almost 500 even after the expiry of the panel. 

The Court on November 17 had also taken on record a report filed by the Commission wherein the Commission had admitted that the panel and the waiting list for the posts of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' had expired on 4th May, 2019. A notification published by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission on September 2, 2019 had also made a similar assertion. However, in spite of the expiry of the panel, 25 appointment letters had been issued by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education containing reference of recommendations issued by different regions like Western Region, Northern Region, Southern Region and Eastern Region. In this regard, Justice Gangopadhyay had also sought the personal attendance of Secretary of the West Bengal Central Service Commission.

Furthermore, the Court on November 23 had also taken on record the affidavit filed by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, the contents of which the Court had labelled as 'really surprising'. The Board had apprised the Court that it is in possession of original recommendations issued by the Commission with District Inspector of Schools memo mentioned upon its recommendations and the entire data had been received by them in hard copies. Justice Gangopadhyay had noted that this shows that recommendations came from the Commission, be it West Bengal Central School Service Commission or West Bengal Regional School Service Commission, and accordingly the Board issued the appointment letters.







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