Corruption Unmasked: Calcutta HC Cancels 36,000 Illegitimate Teacher Appointments
- Posted on May 13, 2023
- By Top Stories
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Taking a Stand: Calcutta HC Unravels Massive Corruption in 36,000 Teacher Recruitments
In a shocking turn of events, the Calcutta High Court has taken a bold step by revoking the appointment of approximately 36,000 primary teachers in government-sponsored and -aided schools in West Bengal.
The court ruled that these candidates, who were untrained at the time of their recruitment in 2016, were hired without following the proper procedures, ultimately exposing a level of corruption of unprecedented proportions in the state.
No Test, No Appointment: Calcutta HC Takes Bold Step in Nullifying Untrained Teacher Hires
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhay, presiding over the case, declared that the appointments of all the untrained candidates from the 2016 recruitment process would be nullified. The court's 17-page order, published late in the evening on the high court's website, cited evidence from both the candidates and interviewers, substantiating the claim that no aptitude test had been conducted during the recruitment process.
Justice Served: West Bengal Board's Corrupt Selection Process Brought to Light by Court
This ruling shed light on the gross illegality that permeated the selection procedure carried out by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. It became evident that the board and its officials, including former President Manik Bhattacharya, who is currently in custody after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged involvement in the recruitment bribery scandal, treated the entire affair as if it were a local club event.
Video Evidence and Fresh Opportunities: Court-Ordered Overhaul of West Bengal Teacher Appointments
As a remedy, Justice Gangopadhyay directed the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to promptly organize a new recruitment exercise within three months, exclusively for the candidates who participated in the flawed 2016 appointment process.
The court also instructed that candidates who have acquired training qualifications in the intervening period be included in this exercise. The upcoming recruitment process must involve both an interview and an aptitude test for all applicants, with the entire interview process being carefully videographed and preserved.
A Chance to Shine: Existing Teachers Retained with Equal Remuneration During Transitional Period
Furthermore, Justice Gangopadhyay emphasized that the new recruitment process must adhere to the same rules and legal procedures as the 2016 process. No new candidates or outsiders will be allowed to participate.
The court stipulated that primary teachers currently employed, contrary to the board's recommendation from the 2016 selection process, would be permitted to continue working for four months, receiving the remuneration equivalent to that of a para teacher in a primary school.
No Free Pass: Existing Teachers Face Evaluation in West Bengal's Renewed Selection Process
However, those teachers who are recommended again by the board after the new selection process will retain their current positions without any monetary benefit, only receiving the notional benefit of seniority.
Additionally, if any of the presently employed candidates fail to succeed in the selection process, their services will be terminated. Furthermore, candidates who participated in the 2016 recruitment process and have reached or will soon reach the age limit will still be eligible to take part in the new recruitment exercise.
Crushing Corruption: West Bengal Court's Decision Undoes Unfair Teacher Appointments
While acknowledging some legal arguments presented by the board, Justice Gangopadhyay dismissed their applicability in the face of the overwhelming corruption that plagued the 2016 recruitment exercise.
The court's decision came as a result of a writ application filed by 140 petitioners who qualified for the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) 2014 but were denied appointments in the 2016 process. Out of the total candidates selected, approximately 6,500 were trained individuals among the 42,500 selected candidates.
Lack of Transparency Exposed: West Bengal Board Hides Marks Data in Teacher Recruitment
The recruitment process, conducted by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, was expected to adhere to the West Bengal Board of Primary School Teachers Recruitment Rules 2016.
However, the court noted that despite directives, the board failed to provide the petitioners with the requested information regarding the marks of the last candidates in different categories, such as SC, ST, OBC, and more.
Buying Education: Corruption Probe Uncovers Sale of Primary Teacher Jobs
Moreover, it is gradually emerging through the ED's investigation that the positions for primary school teachers were actually being sold to candidates who had the means to purchase employment—a startling revelation that highlights the depths of corruption within the recruitment process.
Upholding Fairness and Merit: Calcutta High Court's Stance on Teacher Recruitment
The cancellation of these appointments serves as a landmark decision by the Calcutta High Court, signaling a strong message against corruption and malpractice in the education system. It underscores the court's commitment to upholding transparency, fairness, and meritocracy in the recruitment of teachers, ultimately safeguarding the quality of education provided to the students of West Bengal.
Restoring Fairness: Calcutta High Court's Verdict Reverses Corrupt Appointments
While this verdict undoubtedly brings disappointment to the affected candidates who were initially appointed, it is crucial to acknowledge that justice must prevail over personal aspirations. The decision to cancel the appointments aims to rectify the injustice caused by the corrupt practices that tainted the 2016 recruitment process.
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