9 Jan 2023 11:01 AM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to entertain a petition filed by the State of West Bengal questioning the maintainability of Public Interest Litigation before the Calcutta High Court, alleging irregularities, illegalities and corruption in the recruitment of Assistant Teacher in Primary Schools of the State on the basis of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), 2014. A Bench...
The Supreme Court, on Monday, refused to entertain a petition filed by the State of West Bengal questioning the maintainability of Public Interest Litigation before the Calcutta High Court, alleging irregularities, illegalities and corruption in the recruitment of Assistant Teacher in Primary Schools of the State on the basis of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), 2014.
A Bench comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice A.S. Oka took note of the fact that the PIL has not been decided finally by the High Court. Accordingly, it noted -
“At this stage we are not inclined to entertain. Only notice has been issued in the matter.. State can defend the matter on merit before the High Court.”
The Bench added -
“All questions of law are left open.”
Senior Advocate, Mr. Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing on behalf of the State of West Bengal submitted that the State is assailing the writ petition on three grounds. He argued that the Public Interest Litigation is not maintainable in service matters; the Public Interest Litigation had been filed after 8 years of recruitment process being over; and a similar petition was dismissed by the High Court itself, so it cannot be re-agitated again.
The Special Leave Petition was filed by the State of West Bengal, primarily, challenging the maintainability of the writ petition. The State had raised the same objection before the High Court, which was dismissed by an order dated 12.07.2022. Before the High Court, the Counsel for the petitioner had opposed the preliminary objection, and argued that the appointment on the basis of TET, 2014 are still going on, therefore, there is no delay. He had also submitted that the appointments are a part of a big scam made are therefore, non est and void ab initio. Rejecting the State Government’s preliminary objections on maintainability, the High Court had asked it to file an affidavit-in-opposition on merits within a period of four weeks.
At the outset, the High Court had noted that the writ petitions have already been filed by individual candidates highlighting the malpractices in appointment whereas, in the instant PIL, the entire process has been questioned. It had also taken into account the supplementary affidavit filed by the petitioner indicating that the appointments are still being made on the basis of the TET, 2014 results even in the years 2021 and 2022. The High Court was of the view that if allegations made in the PIL plea are found to be correct and if it is established that the Primary School Teachers have been appointed without having the requisite eligibility qualification, "then there will be a serious question-mark on their appointment and on the issue of continuance in service".
[Case Title: State of WB v. Tapas Ghosh And Ors. Diary No. 25312/2022]
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