Mamata Banerjee Calls High Court's Order "Illegal" in teacher recruitment scam
Mamata Banerjee Calls High Court's Order

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee denounced the Calcutta High Court's ruling to cancel the appointments of teachers made through the 2016 recruitment test, labeling it "illegal." She accused BJP leaders of influencing the judiciary and its judgments. Mamata assured that her government would support those who lost their jobs and announced that the Trinamool government would challenge the high court's decision in the Supreme Court.

Earlier today, the high court invalidated all appointments made in the selection of candidates for West Bengal government-sponsored and aided secondary and higher secondary schools through the 2016 recruitment process. The court directed the School Service Commission (SSC) to conduct fresh recruitments.

All appointments made by the SSC for teachers of classes 9, 10, 11, and 12, as well as group-C and D staffers through the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST), where irregularities were detected, were declared null and void. Additionally, the high court ordered those who were recruited illegally to return their salaries within six weeks.

The judgement came after hearing petitions and appeals regarding alleged irregularities in the 2016 recruitment process. A division bench, constituted by the Chief Justice of the high court under the direction of the Supreme Court, presided over the matter. The bench concluded the hearing on March 20, and the judgement was reserved.

The West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) teacher recruitment scam was exposed following the arrest of Bengal BJP leader Partha Chatterjee, a former Trinamool Congress leader who served as the education minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet until his arrest on July 23, 2022.

Earlier, on February 16, the Enforcement Directorate raided the close associates of Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata. Chatterjee was arrested after Rs 21 crore in cash and jewelry worth above Rs 1 crore was recovered from the Kolkata residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the former education minister. Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee are facing a probe into the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.

Former high court judge Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who is contesting Lok Sabha elections on BJP ticket, demanded the "immediate resignation" of Mamata Banerjee after the verdict. He hailed the order cancelling all appointments made through the recruitment process of the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools as an "appropriate judgment." Gangopadhyay emphasized that "the entire group of fraudsters in the state administration" responsible for perpetrating the scam "should be held accountable."

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