The single judge bench consisting of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the Calcutta High Court on Friday (12/5/2023) in the case of Priyanka Naskar & Ors. v. The Union of India & Ors.
(WPA 21187 of 2022) canceled the appointment of 36,000 “untrained” primary school teachers who were recruited by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education in 2016.
Facts of the Case:
The writ application was filed by 140 writ petitioners who were qualified in Teacher Eligibility Test 2014 (TET 2014 in short) and participated in the 2016 recruitment process but did not get an appointment. The recruitment process was held by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education which was to be held in accordance with West Bengal Board of Primary School Teachers Recruitment Rules 2016. During the course of the hearing, the petitioners disclosed various particulars collected from the publication made by the Board on its website showing that there were serious illegalities in the preparation of the panel of the 2016 recruitment process when viewed in respect of untrained candidates at the time of recruitment who were given appointment against 2016 recruitment process. The petitioners wanted the marks of the last impanelled candidates of different categories like SC, ST, OBC etc. but no such particulars were supplied and produced by the Board despite direction given by the Court.
The Court observed, “In the affidavit in opposition of the Board, Board maintained silence in this regard. This is nothing but suppression of facts from petitioners as well as from the court.” This was with reference to the fact that the Board kept silent and suppressed facts from the petitioners and the Court. The Court directed the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to arrange for a fresh recruitment exercise in 3 months, only for the candidates who participated in the 2016 recruitment process. No new or any other candidate shall be allowed to take part in such a recruitment test. Both interview and aptitude tests of all examinees shall be taken and the whole interview process has to be videographed carefully and preserved, it ordered. The Court further clarified that if any candidate who appeared in the 2016 recruitment process has crossed the age bar in the meantime or will cross the age bar within 3 months from the date they shall be allowed to take part in the recruitment exercise. The Court concluded that giving applicants marks based on aptitude tests is a completely illegitimate and deceptive practice designed to deceive all parties involved, including the court.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY DIVYA SHREE GN