Mamata Banerjee Government Faces Setback: Kolkata High Court Cancels Recruitment of 24,000 Teachers, Orders 8-Year Salary Backpay

The Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has faced a setback from the Calcutta High Court. The court had canceled the teacher recruitment conducted in 2016. Additionally, directions have been given to reconsider providing back pay to non-regularly appointed teachers for the last 7-8 years.

New Directions for WBSSC

Justices Devangshu Basak and Shabbar Rashidin of the Calcutta High Court bench have also directed to initiate a new recruitment process for the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC). All irregularly appointed teachers have been advised to carry out their duties within 15 days.

Dispute Over Recruitment Process

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has challenged the High Court’s orders. She stated, “We are standing with those who have lost their jobs.” This decision may lead us to the Supreme Court.

Millions Take Recruitment Exams

The West Bengal government had conducted recruitment exams for both teaching and non-teaching staff in government and aided schools through state-level exams. Over 23 lakh people appeared for the exams for 24,640 vacant positions.

Allegations of Taking Bribes Ranging from 5 to 15 Lakhs

During the scrutiny of recruitment regularity cases, the CBI had apprehended the state’s former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, along with some close female associates and several WBSSC officials. Allegations range from taking bribes between 5 to 15 lakhs in this recruitment.

Accusations of Providing Jobs Outside the Merit List

In 2014, Mamata Banerjee’s government recruited teachers, and the process was completed in 2016. At that time, Partha Chatterjee was the State Education Minister. Applicants had complained that those with lower marks were placed higher in the merit list.

Raids Conducted After Chatterjee’s Arrest

In July 2022, Partha Chatterjee was arrested in Kolkata on allegations of financial irregularities in teacher recruitments. After being arrested, Mamata Banerjee removed him from the cabinet. In this case, the ED had raided the locations of Partha Chatterjee’s close contacts.

Model’s Arrest Following Chatterjee

In July 2022, along with Partha, raids were conducted on 14 locations, including the residence of a model, Arpita Mukherjee, linked with Partha. Documents related to Arpita’s assets, including nearly 21 crores in cash, foreign currency worth 60 lakhs, phones, and other documents, were found.

Further Raids at Another Location

Following the raids, nearly 27.9 crores in cash were found at Arpita’s home, including bundles of 2000 and 500 rupee notes. Apart from this, gold worth 4.31 crores was also seized, including gold bars of 1 kilo, 6 bangles of 500 grams each, and other jewelry.

Niyati Rao

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