Calcutta HC stays order which set aside appointment of 36,000 untrained primary school teachers recruited in 2016

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The West Bengal Board of Primary Education had filed an appeal against the order dated May 12, 2023, passed by Justice Gangopadhyay.

The Calcutta High Court on Friday stayed the order dated May 12, 2023, passed by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who had postponed the appointment of 32,000 teachers in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided primary schools till the end of September or until further directions.

According to a report published in the Hindustan Times, the division bench of Justices Subrata Talukdar and Supratim Bhattacharya while staying the order, passed an interim stay on job terminations until the end of September 2023 or until any further rulings, whichsoever is earlier.

Further, the court also ordered that the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, as directed by the single bench, will conduct the recruitment exercise for candidates who were untrained at the time of recruitment, including candidates who have obtained training qualifications in the interim, within three months.

Earlier on Monday, the present division bench had allowed the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to file an appeal against the order of Justice Gangopadhyay.

On May 12, 2023, the single judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had cancelled the appointment of 36,000 primary school teachers in West Bengal who were untrained at the time of recruitment.

The court on the same day had ordered the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to organise a new recruitment process within three months for candidates who participated in the 2016 recruitment process. No new or other candidates will be permitted to participate in such a recruitment test, court had ordered.

It is required that all examinees shall undergo both an interview and an aptitude test and that the entire interview process be properly videographer and recorded, the court had added.

The present writ petition was moved by 140 petitioners who qualified for the Teacher Eligibility Test 2014 (TET 2014), participated in the 2016 recruiting process, and were summoned for interviews but were not appointed. While the court was hearing the plea, the petitioners disclosed various details gained from the Board's website that demonstrated severe irregularities in the preparation of the panel for the 2016 recruitment process, particularly with regard to untrained candidates who were hired during the 2016 recruitment process.

“It was done by one outside agency, a third party that was not a member of the Board, and this third party was referred to as the Board's confidential section. This clearly violates the Recruitment Rules. The Board has remained completely silent,” the court had said.