High Court Cancels 2016 Teacher Recruitment, 24000 jobs dismissed

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The Calcutta High Court has made a significant decision by cancelling the entire 2016 recruitment panel for school teachers constituted by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC). This action was taken in light of a jobs scam that had taken place. As a result, nearly 24,000 jobs have been dismissed by the court.

Illegally Recruited Teachers Ordered to Return Salaries within Four Weeks

During the hearing, the division bench, comprised of Justices Debangsu Basak and Md Shabbar Rashidi, directed that school teachers who were recruited illegally (using blank OMR sheets) must return their salaries within four weeks. The district magistrate has been assigned the task of collecting the money from these teachers.

All Appointments through 2016 State-Level Entrance Exam Cancelled

The cancelled recruitment panel includes all appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff that were hired through the WBSSC entrance examination in 2016. These appointments were made to various state-government-sponsored and aided schools in Bengal. As a consequence of the court’s decision, these appointments have now been nullified.

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Re-evaluation of 23 Lakh OMR Sheets Ordered

The High Court has also ordered the re-evaluation of approximately 23 lakh OMR sheets, which are the test papers used in the recruitment entrance exam that was conducted. This re-evaluation will ensure a thorough examination of the recruitment process.

Further Investigation by CBI and Fresh Appointment Process

The bench rejected a request for a stay on the order and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to undertake further investigation into the matter regarding the appointment process. The CBI has been given three months to submit a report on their findings. Additionally, the WBSSC has been instructed to initiate a fresh appointment process.

Joyous Reaction to the Verdict

Hundreds of job aspirants who had been eagerly awaiting the verdict outside the court premises rejoiced as soon as the decision was announced. This ruling brings hope for a fair and transparent recruitment process in the future.

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Background Information

The case had been under the purview of the High Court since March 20, and the judgment was reserved by the division bench. The CBI had been investigating the matter since an earlier court order and had arrested former Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee in 2022 due to his alleged involvement in the scam. It is worth noting that former Calcutta High Court judge Abhijit Ganguly, who is now a BJP candidate in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from Bengal’s Tamluk, had ordered the CBI investigation into the case.

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