SC to hear on Monday Bengal govt’s plea against Calcutta HC order axing 25,753 school jobs

New Delhi, May 5 : The Supreme Court is slated to hear on Monday a batch of petitions, including the West Bengal government’s plea, filed against the Calcutta High Court’s order cancelling 25,753 appointments in teaching and non-teaching posts made by the WBSSC in 2016.

As per the details published on the website of the apex court, a bench headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud will continue to hear the matter on May 6.

In the previous hearing, the Bench, also comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, refused to pass any interim direction staying the Calcutta High Court’s order passed on April 22.

The top court directed that no precipitative action will be taken by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against the state government officials who were involved in approving the creation of super-numeric posts till the next date of listing.

It asked the appellants to demonstrate if there was any secondary material available to segregate valid appointments of all the 25,753 persons empanelled in 2016 for various categories of jobs at secondary and higher secondary schools in the state.

In an order passed in the third week of April, the Calcutta High Court had nullified the appointment of the candidates selected from the expired panels and asked them to return the entire salary drawn, along with an annualised interest of 12 per cent, within the next four weeks.

Besides directing the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) to start the recruitment process afresh, a division bench of Justices Debangsu Basak and Shabbar Rashidi also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry on with its investigation into the matter.

Taking cognisance of the state cabinet’s decision for the creation of super-numeric posts, the Calcutta High Court said that the CBI, if necessary, can question the masterminds behind the creation of the seats in excess of the vacant posts.

These super-numeric posts, which have remained under the cloud since the beginning, are perceived to provide room for ineligible candidates recruited illegally.

In July last year, the apex court had set aside the interim direction passed by the Calcutta High Court terminating services of 32,000 primary teachers and asking the West Bengal authorities to complete the recruitment process for the newly created vacancies within three months.

Asking the high court to decide the appeal pertaining to the school-jobs-for-cash scam at the earliest, the Supreme Court had stressed that the opportunity for a hearing has to be given to all concerned.

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