Kolkata: A single-judge panel of the Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered a CBI enquiry into the recruitment of primary teachers by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) in 2014. This is yet another setback for the West Bengal administration, particularly the education department.
The bench of Justice Avijit Gangopadhyay also ordered the dismissal of 269 candidates for the position of primary school teachers.
While passing the order, Gangopadhyay noted that these 269 candidates were hired despite not passing the written exam and that some of them did not even show up for it.
The single-judge court has ordered WBBPE to immediately stop paying these 269 candidates' salaries and to guarantee that they are no longer allowed to visit the schools to which they were assigned.
In 2017, the WBBPE released a revised and second merit list for the 2014 recruitment examination. These 269 individuals were given an extra mark in the amended merit list, according to the findings.
The WBBPE officials explained that the extra one mark given to each of the 269 candidates was due to a question paper error, but the explanation was insufficient to satisfy the court.
According to Justice Gangopadhyay, this logic explains why the additional one mark was given just to these 269 students, ignoring the rest 23 lakh competitors who took the identical exam. As a result, the bench also dismissed WBBPE's amended and second merit list, which was released in 2017.
WBBPE President Manik Bhattacharya and the board's Secretary Ratna Chakraborty (Bagchi) were also ordered by Justice Gangopadhyay to appear at the CBI's Kolkata headquarters by 5.30 p.m. on Monday with all supporting papers and to answer the sleuths' queries.
The CBI is already investigating the West Bengal School Service Commission's recruitment irregularities in different teaching and non-teaching positions (WBSSC). Former Education Minister and Trinamool Congress Secretary General Partha Chatterjee was also questioned thrice by the CBI in this matter.