Calcutta High Court: Abhijit Gangopadhyay, J. took up a writ application which was filed praying for publishing fair and transparent merit list of Assistant Teachers in 1st State Level Selection Test 2016 (classes IX and X) in terms of 2016 Rules of recruitment including the waitlist disclosing the breakup and segregation of marks; for uploading the online application forms of the candidates in respect of 1st State Level Selection Test 2016 (Class IX and X); disclosure of the letters of appointments and to consider the candidature of the petitioner.

In the petition itself the petitioner has come up with material particulars taking responsibility of 27 instances showing how illegal appointments have been made in the post of Assistant Teachers for classes IX and X. In his matter, the Court also acknowledged one supplementary affidavit  which revealed a notice of a second meeting of the committee constituted by the School Education Department, Government of West Bengal and the Court was extremely surprised that there were at least two or more than two meetings of the said committee whereas Dr. Santi Prasad Sinha, the advisor of the Commission and convenor of the five member committee in other matters having similar allegations of corruption in appointment in the posts of assistant teachers by the School Service Commission said time and again that there was no meeting of the said 5 member committee.

Mr Kishore Datta, senior advocate appearing for the Commission, has made elaborate submission and stated that as the application has been filed much late, if some time – say one month – was given to the State to undone all the mistakes or errors, the petitioners would not suffer. He also said that a committee may be formed by keeping the Principal Secretary of the Education Department or by keeping the Chairman of the School Service Commission for enquiring into this allegation.

Advocate for the State, Mr Bhaskar Prasad Vaisya, adopted the submission of Mr Datta and had submitted further that though it was found from the said notice of Dr. Sinha that he called a meeting and that the meeting was to be held in the chamber of the Personal Secretary to the Hon’ble MIC of the Department it cannot be said that the MIC was inverted in it.

The Court was of the view that whether the then MIC knew about such meeting or not or any other thing as to the corrupt practice in such appointment is a matter to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and they are given a freehand to interrogate any person they think fit to unearth the corruption in the appointment in government aided schools scam whatever be his social or political status.

The Court was not ready to accept such submission that government wanted some time to cure illegalities in the matter as time was running out. The Court was utterly shocked by the deliberate false statement made by Dr. S. P. Sinha which had been exposed from the annexure of the supplementary affidavit which showed that he was trying to cover up some facts unfavourable to him and his aides.

From the particulars in the writ application the Court was satisfied that illegalities have been made in appointment of Assistant Teachers and accordingly directed the Reginal head of CBI to investigate the matter and to interrogate Dr. Santi Prasad Sinha specially and other members of the committee again. Matter has been listed for further hearing on 08-04-2022.[Anindita Bera v. State of Bengal, 2022 SCC OnLine Cal 717, order dated 07-04-2022]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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