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Calcutta High Court lifts stay on teachers’ recruitment

The division bench would hear the complaints of the petitioners after four weeks
Calcutta High Court.
Calcutta High Court.
File picture

Our Legal Correspondent, Our Bureau   |   Calcutta   |   Published 05.03.21, 01:19 AM

A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Thursday issued an interim stay on the order by a single-judge  bench that had restrained the state government from recruiting teachers in 16,500 vacant posts in primary schools.

A division bench of Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Saugata Bhattacharyya held that the judiciary should not prevent any elected government from continuing with its plans and issued an interim order on Thursday.

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The division bench would hear the complaints of the petitioners after four weeks. But during that period the government can appoint teachers according to its merit list.

Teacher recruitment for primary schools had been pending for years because of legal tangles. In December last year, chief minister Mamata Banerjee announced that 16,500 odd vacant posts would be filled. A merit list of 15,000 was prepared from among candidates who succeeded in TET in 2014. They were interviewed in January.

The state hoped to complete the recruitment by March. But some candidates whose names were not figured on the merit list moved court alleging anomalies. Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj of the high court had on February 22 asked the state not to continue the recruitment process till further orders.

Asked when the recruitment will resume, Manik Bhattacharya, president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education said: “We have been able to prove that the board maintained transparency in its recruitment pro-cess…. We will first go through the contents of the order in detail and then proceed.”

Officials of the school education department said they would soon take legal opinion to find out whether any consent has to be secured from the Election Commission of India before the board starts issuing the appointment letter.

“The announcement about the recruitment was made in mid December, well before the model code of conduct had come in force last Friday.

Still we want to take a legal opinion on this...,” said the official.

Aspiring teachers are among the most vocal critics of the Mamata Banerjee government.

Moving the appeal before the division bench, the counsel appearing for the state submitted that a huge number of posts were lying vacant across the primary schools. The students are suffering, he said.



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