7 July 2023 8:21 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the interim order of the Calcutta High Court that directed the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to conduct fresh selection for 32,000 teacher posts before the end of August 2023.The division bench of J.K. Maheshwari and Justice K.V. Viswanathan also asked the Calcutta High Court to decide the appeal pertaining to School Jobs for Cash scam at...
The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the interim order of the Calcutta High Court that directed the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to conduct fresh selection for 32,000 teacher posts before the end of August 2023.
The division bench of J.K. Maheshwari and Justice K.V. Viswanathan also asked the Calcutta High Court to decide the appeal pertaining to School Jobs for Cash scam at the earliest.
“Considering the fact that this a matter relating to selection and appointment of large number of assistant teachers, we hope and trust that such controversy ought to be decided at the earliest. Therefore, we request the High Court to expedite the writ appeal.” The Apex Court directed.
The petition before the Apex Court was filed against the order of the division bench of the Calcutta High Court that had stayed the termination of 32,000 teachers but had directed fresh selection to the post. A single bench of the High Court had earlier directed termination of 32,000 teachers and ordered fresh selection to be conducted within 3 months. It was urged by the Petitioners that though the division bench granted interim relief by staying termination as the affected persons were not party to the proceedings, the direction to hold fresh selection, was not proper.
The West Bengal Board of Primary Education also submitted before the Apex Court that to call for selection of 32,000 teachers and hold their interview within the time frame would not be possible and that it would be an expensive exercise.
The Apex Court agreed with the submission of the petitioners that that the order passed by the single judge was without hearing the petitioners even in a representative capacity. The Apex Court also observed that since the division bench had found merit in this contention and had stayed the termination of teachers, the direction of conducting fresh selection was not justified.
“We set aside the interim order to the extent of directing fresh selection as directed by single judge. “ the Apex Court ordered.
Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi, Shyam Divan, Kalyan Banerjee, Dr AM Singhvi etc., appeared in the matter.
However, the Court directed the Petitioners to raise all further contentions including the ground of natural justice, in the appeal before the Division Bench.
A single bench of the Calcutta High Court had cancelled the appointment of 32,000 "untrained" primary school teachers who were recruited by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education in 2016.
The single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had also directed West Bengal Board of Primary Education to arrange for a fresh recruitment exercise in 3 months, only for the candidates who participated in 2016 recruitment process. No new or any other candidate shall be allowed to take part in such recruitment test it was directed.
Subsequently, the Division Bench of Justices Subrata Talukdar and Supratim Bhattacharya observed that the termination of jobs without giving an opportunity of hearing to the affected parties required judicial intervention and hence stayed the termination. However, the Division Bench ordered the board to conduct the fresh selection as directed by the single Bench by August end.
The single bench of the Calcutta High Court while passing the order for termination and fresh selection had observed as thus:
“From the gross illegality in the selection procedure in the recruitment exercise of 2016 conducted by the Board it is clear that the Board and its officials including its former President (who is now in custody after arrest by Enforcement Directorate for transaction of huge money in the recruitment procedure) conducted the whole affair like affair of a local club and now it is gradually coming to light by investigation of Enforcement Directorate that jobs for primary school teachers were actually sold to some candidates who had the money to purchase the employment. A corruption of this magnitude was never known in the State of West Bengal. The former Education Minister, the former President of the Board and a number of middleman through whom the jobs were sold like a commodity are now behind the bars and the CBI and ED investigation is being continued now in full seeing.”
Case Title: Tuhin Kumar Haldi V. Priyanka Naskar, SLP(C) No. 13024-13026/2023, THE WEST BENGAL BOARD OF PRIMARY EDUCATION AND ANR vs PRIYANKA NASKAR AND ORS and connected matters.
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