The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed termination of services of 1,911 Group D employees in State-run schools who allegedly got their jobs using illegal means. These names had surfaced during the ongoing investigation where manipulation of their OMR sheets for the recruitment examination in 2016 for Group D employees has come to the fore.
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay also directed that the 1,911 candidates will not be allowed inside the premises of schools they were associated with, and they will have to return the salaries paid to them in instalments. The court said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is probing the scam, can question and take into custody any of those whose jobs have been terminated. The marks obtained by 2,823 candidates in the examination conducted for the recruitment process were manipulated with the server of the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) showing higher marks than the marks which they had actually obtained. This was done by manipulation of OMR sheets. Of these 2,823 candidates, 1,911 got jobs.
Soon after the High Court verdict, the WBSSC issued an order cancelling the appointment of 1,911 persons. The court also directed Subires Bhattacharya, who was the chairman of the WBSSC at the time of publication of results for the 2016 examinations, to disclose the names of persons who asked to manipulate the results. Justice Gangopadhyay said Mr. Bhattacharya will not be able to use his master’s or doctorate degree till he is exonerated.
The termination of jobs of 1,911 persons is the highest number of people losing their jobs since the West Bengal recruitment scam came to the fore in July 2021. The arrest of former State Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and recovery of huge cash from the premises of his aide blew the lid over the scam. The Calcutta High Court, however, has been issuing directions of probe by the Central agencies even before the former Minister’s arrest.
Siddharta Majumdar, chairperson of the WBSSC, said the Commission would start the process of terminating the service of 803 teachers in State-run schools, who had allegedly used illegal means to get the jobs. These have figured during the CBI investigation and the Commission, in an affidavit, had informed this to the court of Justice Biswajit Basu. Mr. Majumdar said the number of candidates who used illegal means across all categories was about 8,163.
‘A black day’
Responding to the termination of jobs, State Education Minister Bratya Basu said it was a black day. The Minister, however, drawing reference to the Vyapam scam of Madhya Pradesh, said that unlike in the BJP-ruled States people were not getting killed in West Bengal.
Mr. Basu, while speaking on the results of the Teachers Eligibility Test ( TET) declared in the day, said the exam was conducted in a transparent manner. The Minister urged everyone to steer clear of agents who fleeced candidates promising jobs.