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HC freezes teacher hiring

The high court on Monday restrained the school service commission (SSC) from sending names of prospective teachers to the 15,000-odd state-aided schools across Bengal till February 14.

The order by Justice Dipankar Dutta temporarily freezes the recruitment of around 9,000 candidates whose names figure on the SSC merit list and who are awaiting appointment letters.

The 27,000-odd teacher who have joined over the past three months will continue in their posts.

“This interim order will not affect the service of those who have already got appointment letters and joined service,” Justice Dutta ruled.

The order directs the commission to furnish by February 6 a list of names of those who have already been issued appointment letters.

The commission will also have to file an affidavit by that day, stating details of the process it had adopted while sending the names of the candidates who have already been appointed.

Monday’s order followed a petition by Ruma Das and 29 other candidates who have alleged that their names had not been sent to schools though they had a BEd degree.

The court had earlier directed the commission to give priority to candidates with a BEd degree. The petitioners submitted that many candidates without a BEd degree had joined the service though many with the degree failed to make the cut.

The commission had last conducted the exam to recruit schoolteachers on July 29, 2012. The results were declared in December 2012. Over 14 lakh candidates had appeared in the exam.

A commission source said only around 36,000 names figured on the merit list against 46,000 vacancies. Of them 27,000 candidates have joined schools. The panel had recently announced that it would conduct the fourth round of counselling for appointing the remaining 9,000 candidates.

Subrata Mukherjee, counsel for the petitioners, submitted that the commission had not followed the high court’s guidelines while preparing the merit list.

“In its April 4 order, the high court had directed the commission to prepare two merit lists — one comprising the names of candidates with a BEd degree and the other with the names of those without the degree. The court had also ordered the panel to give priority to candidates with a BEd degree. The SSC, however, did not follow the court guideline,” Mukherjee said.