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Calcutta High Court brake on teacher hiring

The order has cast a cloud on the government’s decision to appoint at least 24,000 teachers for Classes VI to VIII by Durga Puja
Calcutta High Court
Calcutta High Court
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Our Legal Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 21.07.21, 01:28 AM

A division bench of the high court on Tuesday issued an interim order restraining the school service commission from appointing teachers for upper primary classes of secondary schools without the court’s nod.

The order has cast a cloud on the government’s decision to appoint at least 24,000 teachers for Classes VI to VIII by Durga Puja.

The division bench headed by Justice Subrata Talukdar, which issued the order, has allowed the commission to continue selecting candidates after conducting interviews but barred it from appointing teachers.

The bench asked the commission to preserve all relevant documents related to the selection of candidates so they could be produced in court after 12 weeks.

The order followed an appeal by some job aspirants against the verdict delivered by Justice Abhijit Ganguly of the high court, which had allowed the commission to appoint deserving candidates.

Justice Ganguly had asked the commission to be more transparent in the selection process and to consider individually the grievances of the aggrieved candidates who had been alleging irregularities in the selection process.

The division bench asked the commission to receive grievances through its website till July 31 and consider the cases with sympathy. The bench also asked the commission to display the marks obtained by the aggrieved candidates on its website.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had announced that over 32,000 teachers would be recruited in secondary schools, at least 24,000 of whom would be appointed by Puja 2021. The list of successful candidates will be prepared based on the 2015 teachers’ eligibility test (TET).

The recruitment process has been caught in a tangle of allegations and court cases between 2016 and 2020.

After the high court had greenlighted the recruitment process in 2020 and a merit list was published, a fresh set of petitions were filed to stall the process.

Some candidates alleged that the names of those who had scored less than them featured on the list while theirs did not.

The commission was accused of flouting a 2019 high court guideline and failing to mention the marks beside the name of each candidate on the merit list. Following Justice Ganguly’s order, the commission published the names of selected candidates and also the marks they had obtained in TET.

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