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SSC scam revelation: Deserving candidates’ marks were also reduced

Judge asks commission to publish within March 9 the manipulated OMR sheets of all 3,478 names of Group C employees in state-run schools
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Sougata Mukhopadhyay   |   Calcutta   |   Published 03.03.23, 08:27 PM

On a day the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay on the Calcutta High Court order to terminate appointments of 1,911 illegally recruited Group D staff and the state secondary education board notified the cancellation of appointments of 618 secondary teachers, more skeletons kept tumbling out of the cupboard in the corridors of the state’s high judiciary with regard to the state SSC recruitment scam.

In an affidavit filed before the High Court’s Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Friday, this time in connection with alleged irregular recruitments of Group C staff from the 2016 SLST exams, the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) stated that it has verified evidence of original marks of 113 candidates being actually reduced to enable undeserving candidates to be pushed up the order.


The current SSC dispensation, which has called itself in court a converted ‘Yudhishtira’ or a follower of the truth, has on previous occasions admitted to large-scale manipulation of Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets to provide undue advantage to undeserving candidates. But this is the first time it has actually admitted to lowering the marks of  genuine and deserving candidates to throw them out of the race.

The SSC submission in court came in the wake of the CBI retrieving candidates’ data from the headquarters of Commission’s agency, NYSA, in Ghaziabad and submitting them to the court for cross-verification with the Commission’s own records in Salt Lake, Calcutta.

The Commission, in its sworn affidavit, stated that 113 candidates have higher marks in their OMRs and lesser marks in the server of the Commission.

“We have verified that a candidate who is recorded to have received 40 marks in the database of our OMR evaluating agency NYSA has been shown to have received 10 marks in the SSC server,” the Commission stated in court on Friday.

The previous dispensation at the Commission may have done this to recruit the undeserving candidates, the Commission submitted before the court on Friday.

Startled at the revelation, Justice Gangopadhyay directed the SSC to publish within 9 March the manipulated OMR sheets of all 3,478 names of Group C employees in state-run schools which were recovered by the CBI. The matter is scheduled to be heard by the court next on 10 March.

Of these 3,478 names, the Commission submitted, 300 candidates were found not to have tampered OMRs and could be excluded from the list of illegal beneficiaries. As many as 787 Group C employees are still in the system with manipulated OMRs and another 851 candidates, who were not recommended by the Commission, are on the panel/waitlists, the Commission stated.

“The CBI should intensely question Subiresh Bhattacharya who was the Commission chairman at the time of these recruitments,” Justice Gangopadhyay observed.

In a separate but related development that took place almost simultaneously, the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay on Justice Gangopadhyay’s previous order to terminate 1,911 Group D staff, but also directed the state SSC to not fill up the vacant posts till further orders.

The aggrieved job losers had moved the Division Bench of Calcutta High Court which, while refusing to stay the Single Bench order of cancellation of the appointments, granted an interim stay on the part that directed them to return the salary received so far.

The petitioners then moved the Apex Court which has now directed them to add the CBI as a party to the case. The matter is likely to be heard in the last week of this month or in the first week of next.

In yet another related development, the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, acting on the SSC’s withdrawal of the recommendation of illegally recruited teachers in classes IX and X on Monday and the subsequent upholding of this decision  by the Calcutta High Court on Thursday, notified the cancellation of appointments of 618 secondary teachers in state schools in the aftermath of the developments in Supreme Court on Friday.

The SSC had submitted in court that all job losers had been irregularly appointed by means of manipulated OMR sheets.

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