The state primary education board called the candidates who had moved court alleging they were not awarded marks for answers to questions the court had declared incorrect, to take part in the recruitment process on Wednesday.
Three weeks after Calcutta High Court had directed the state primary education board president to pay Rs 20,000 in compensation from his pocket to each of the 19 petitioners for not awarding the marks, the candidates have been declared qualified in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET).
An official in the school education department said although a division bench of the court had last week stayed the fine, the court did not strike down the petitioners’ contention and the board was obliged to let them take part in the recruitment process.
On Wednesday, 97 candidates appeared for the scrutiny, verification of testimonials and interviews.
A notice signed by R.C. Bagchi, secretary, West Bengal Board of Primary Education, said: “The writ petitioners mentioned in the list… have qualified in TET-2014, after award of six marks, in compliance of the aforementioned order/ orders of the honourable Calcutta High Court. Now they have been (found) eligible for participation in the process of recruitment.”
A school education department official said apart from the 19, 78 others appeared as they, too, had moved court separately.
Board president Manik Bhattacharya said: “If they are found eligible now, they would be recommended for appointment.”
Justice Samapti Chatterjee had in October 2018 directed the board to award full marks to the candidates who had answered the questions that the court had declared wrong based on a report by a team from Visva-Bharati.
Since the order was not carried out, Justice Gangopadhyay in early September ruled if the petitioners are found eligible after awarding the marks, they have to be appointed immediately.
Bikram Banerjee, the lawyer who appeared for the 19 petitioners, said his clients had suspected that some of the questions were wrong after writing the test in 2015 (TET notification came out in 2014).
“The board is bound to give them appointments as they were denied recruitments for mistakes committed by the board,” Banerjee told The Telegraph.
They filed a plea in the high court under the RTI Act to get copies of the question paper, the OMR answer sheets and the answer key based on which the scripts were evaluated.
Learning a lesson, the board recently uploaded on its website model answers to all questions in the TET held in January 2021 and then uploaded the correct answer key, incorporating changes based on responses from the candidates.