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There is no illegality in culling out a table from a different but an equivalent rule for recruitment of school teachers by the Madrasah Service Commission for teachers of Madrasah: Calcutta High Court

All the candidates for the posts of Madrasah teachers will be assessed according to ‘Part-C’ of the School Service Commission Rules, 2016, as held by the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay in the matter of Mst. Reshma Khatun & Ors. vs. State of West Bengal & Ors. [W.P.A. 12901 of 2021].

The facts of the case relate to a writ petition which had been filed by 32 petitioners, who prayed for the publishing of names of candidates by the West Bengal Board of Madrasah Education in 6th SLST who had been provisionally qualified for the personality test in 6th SLST (AT) (Work Education) and to publish the breakup of marks of all candidates with all details of academic qualification and marks of written examination. They also prayed for a direction to call the petitioners in an interview for 6th SLST (AT) (Physical Education) and hence, provide consequential benefit to appoint the petitioners as Assistant Teachers in Work Education. However, the Court found that the pray for calling of the petitioners in an interview for Physical Education and giving them an appointment in the post of Assistant Teacher in Work Education was “wholly inconceivable”.

The learned Advocate for the respondent, being the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission and its Secretary, objected by submitting that there was no jural relationship between the 32 persons who had filed the application and therefore, despite paying the full court fees, they could not file such writ application jointly. To this, the Hon’ble Court said that the petitioners had not committed any illegality and this could be done under the law.

The Hon’ble Calcutta High Court before the Hon’ble Mr. Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, while considering the submission of the learned Advocate for the petitioners on the writ application, found that the claim of the petitioners was based upon one notification that was issued by the Madrasah Service Commission on 11th August 2021, which stated that the manner of evaluation of academic qualification of both the 6th SLST (AT) (Physical Education) and 6th SLST (AT) (Work Education) would be done following the NCTE guidelines read with the WBSSC Rules, 2016 adopted by the Commission for lack of such provision in the rules of the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission.

The Hon’ble Calcutta High Court also subsequently found from the petition that in the 6th SLST for Work Education and Physical Education, the marks for essential qualification and training in the rules of the Commission was 25, but the Commission had changed it and decided to raise the marks for academic qualification including professional qualification as 35 instead of 25. This had been declared in the guideline for Work Education (Pass), and it was also considered that the petitioners and the candidates participated in the selection process knowing that the full marks for academic qualification and the professional qualification would be 35 and not 25. Hence, while awarding marks against these 35 marks, the Madrasah Service Commission would have to face a problem for awarding marks and the manner of evaluation of the candidates against full marks 35 for academic qualification including professional qualification as in their own rules, the full marks in such respect was 25 and therefore, the Commission had no tool for awarding the marks to the candidates for their academic qualification, etc.

It was also found that the full marks in respect of the academic qualification including professional qualification in the West Bengal School Service Commission Rules was 35 for Assistant Teacher in Work Education and also for Physical Education according to the 2016 Rules of West Bengal School Service Commission.

Meanwhile, the petitioner submitted that the Madrasah Service Commission, as well as the West Bengal School Service Commission, has both adopted Rules 7, 12, and 13 of the Rules of the School Service Commission. On the other hand, the Madrasah Service Commission in this regard said that the Commission had its own rules and they did not adopt any other rules. The Hon’ble Court was satisfied that the Commission had some merit as far as the full marks for academic qualification was concerned, enhancement of full marks from 25 to 35 as far as the academic qualification was concerned, and the problem faced by them for evaluating the academic qualification for 35 marks since they did not have a tool for evaluating the candidates against the full marks of 35 for the academic qualification.

However, the Commission got the tool from Part-C of Schedule II of 2016 Rules of School Service Commission and they had made it clear in their notification dated 11th August 2021, that this was being done for lack of such provision in the rules of the West Bengal Madrasah Service Commission which was found to be correct from the records before the Hon’ble Court.

Therefore, the Hon’ble Court stated that all the candidates for the posts of the Madrasah teachers would be assessed by using the said tool, although, such tool did not mean that the Commission was also adopting the Rules referred in the said Schedule II of the School Service Commission Rules of 2016. Hence, the petitioners’ contention was found to be “wholly baseless”. The claim of the petitioners in the writ petition was adjudged as “totally baseless, meaningless, frivolous and ill-motived”.

The Hon’ble Court found no merit in the writ application and neither considered such writ petition filed by the petitioners as urgent. His Lordship, thus, dismissed the writ application with a cost of Rs.10,000/- which had to be paid to the High Court Legal Services Authority within two weeks from the date.

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