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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Bengal SSC verdict: Ex-HC judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay calls for Mamata Banerjee's resignation

Gangopadhyay, whose single bench had previously ordered CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the recruitment process, asserted that 'the entire group of fraudsters in the state administration' responsible for perpetrating the scam 'should be hanged'

PTI Calcutta Published 22.04.24, 02:28 PM
Abhijit Gangopadhyay

Abhijit Gangopadhyay PTI

Terming the Calcutta High Court order to cancel all appointments made through the recruitment process of the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools as an "appropriate judgment", former judge of the court Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Monday demanded "immediate resignation" of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Gangopadhyay, whose single bench had previously ordered CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the recruitment process, asserted that "the entire group of fraudsters in the state administration" responsible for perpetrating the scam "should be hanged".

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A division bench comprising justices Debangsu Basak and Md Shabbar Rashidi on Monday also directed the CBI to undertake further investigation in respect of the appointment process, and submit a report in three months.

Speaking to reporters here, Gangopadhyay, who resigned as a Calcutta High Court judge on March 5 to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Tamluk in Purba Medinipur district on a BJP ticket, said, "The real culprits are sitting in top positions of state administration and hiding behind their security bubble. If they have the courage and any shame left in them, they should quit their positions of power, shred their protective cover and face investigations." "The Chief Minister deprived the qualified candidates for years and left them under unspeakable distress," he said and added, "I would have dragged her down from her chair myself if I had that kind of power." Gangopadhyay also gave a clarion call to "both Hindus and Muslims to boycott Banerjee" since "candidates belonging to both communities were affected" by the scam.

Earlier, Gangopadhyay had also ordered the termination of a number of jobs of teaching and non-teaching staffers after finding irregularities.

The division bench, formed by the Chief Justice of the high court on a direction of the Supreme Court, had extensively heard numerous petitions and appeals relating to the selection of candidates for appointment by the SSC in the categories of teachers of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 and group-C and D staffers through the SLST-2016.

Gangopadhyay, however, refused to consider Monday’s judgment his " personal victory".

"I feel sad today that the High Court vindicated my findings for a scam of such proportions. I feel distressed that we have to tolerate the governance of a corrupt and lying dispensation even after such developments," he said.

The former jurist confessed that he was "far more lenient" while passing orders in connection to the case while sitting in the judge’s chair.

"I am happy that the division bench has now passed a judgment with appropriate strictness that the case deserved," he said.

Gangopadhyay justified the need for re-evaluation of OMR sheets for proper assessment of candidates as directed by the court. He also stood by the court’s direction to ensure that all job holders of the panel must return salaries received during their entire duration of service.

"The court’s direction will have to be abided. Else justice cannot be served to the deserving candidates who are in limbo for the past eight years," he said.

Responding to a question on Soma Das, the candidate whose job in school was retained first by Gangopadhyay on compassionate grounds and later upheld by the division bench judgment as the sole exception to the recruitment process cancellation, the former judge said, "The court heard all sides extensively and was fair to all while delivering its judgment. I welcome the court's decision".

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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