Calcutta High Court extends interim stay on teacher recruitment at upper primary level till July 9
The high court has extended the interim stay on recruitment of teachers at the upper primary level till July 9 and said “apparently… there are irregularities in drawing up the merit list”.
Justice Abhijit Ganguly directed the school service commission to upload on its website a merit list with marks against the name of each candidate on the list.
The court has also asked the commission to explain to those whose names don’t feature on the list, why they fell short.
Justice Ganguly said: “The officers of the (school service) commission are worthless. They should be immediately removed. Why was the order of the court passed in 2019 not carried out by the commission? This court has framed guidelines for selecting the candidates and preparing a list on the basis of that.”
The stinging remarks came as the state’s advocate-general and the principal secretary of the school education department appeared before the court seeking vacation of the interim stay.
“Apparently, the court feels there is lack of transparency and there are irregularities in drawing up the merit list,” the judge said.
School education department secretary Manish Jain appeared before the court as chief minister Mamata Banerjee had on Wednesday instructed him to plead before the court that successive legal tangles were coming in the way of appointing thousands of students as schoolteachers.
But the court expressed its displeasure over the way the merit list was prepared, allegedly in violation of an order passed in October 2019.
On October 3, 2019, Justice Mousumi Bhattacharya had instructed the commission that the merit list would have to be prepared on the basis of how a teacher aspirant has performed in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET), his or her academic eligibility and BEd or DLeD (diploma in elementary education training).
The same judge had on December 11, 2020, quashed the process initiated by the commission to recruit teachers in nearly 15,000 vacant posts and directed the commission to start the recruitment process afresh following the guidelines framed by the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), according to which candidates with a BEd degree should get first preference.
According to the deadline set in December, the merit list was supposed to be prepared by May 31. As the commission was getting ready to call the aspirants for counselling based on the merit list, three petitions were filed on June 24, seeking a stay on the recruitment.
Justice Ganguly had issued an interim stay on Wednesday, which was extended further on Friday.