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Calcutta HC voids 2016 West Bengal SSC recruitment

Calcutta HC voids 2016 West Bengal SSC recruitment, nullifies 24,000 jobs. High Court orders fresh recruitment for the posts and mandated that individuals involved in the invalidated appointments have to return their salaries within four weeks.

The selection process for the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools has been deemed null and void by the Calcutta HC on Monday. Approximately 24,000 teaching and non-teaching staff appointments have been invalidated as a result of this ruling.

A division bench, consisting of justices Debangsu Basak and Md Shabbar Rashidi, has also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry out further investigations into the appointment process and submit a report within three months.

The court has further decreed that those implicated in the annulled appointments must reimburse their salaries within a period of four weeks.

The initiation of new recruitment procedures has been mandated to commence within 15 days, as ordered by the authorities. The investigation conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will remain ongoing during this period.

However, an exemption has been granted to Soma Das, a cancer patient, ensuring that she will not lose her job. According to information presented by the CBI in court, a total of 21,000 candidates were unlawfully recruited across all categories of the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), with over 9,000 OMR sheets being tampered with in the process.

In a prior development in February, the CBI had apprehended six individuals, including former education minister Partha Chatterjee, as part of their probe into the alleged misconduct. These individuals were reportedly acting as agents, accepting payments from candidates, and aiding in their placement within various educational institutions throughout the state, as stated by the federal agency.

In November 2023, the Supreme Court urged the Chief Justice of the Calcutta HC to establish a specialized division bench to handle all petitions and appeals related to the recruitment process carried out through SLST-2016, in order to speed up the resolution process.

The Supreme Court’s directive included a provision to safeguard appointments that had been invalidated by the high court, granting a six-month extension to the division bench to resolve any disputes. Furthermore, the Supreme Court directed the CBI to conduct its investigation within a specified timeframe and present its findings to the court.

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