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West Bengal teacher recruitment scam: Calcutta HC declares 2016 SSC recruitment null and void, orders fresh appointments

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Monday declared all appointments null and void in the selection of candidates in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided secondary and higher secondary schools through a 2016 recruitment process.
The court has ordered the School Service Commission (SSC) to conduct fresh recruitments.
The court further ordered that those who were recruited illegally will have to return their salary within six weeks.
All appointments by the SSC in the categories of teachers of classes 9, 10, 11 and 12 and group-C and D staffers through the State Level Selection Test-2016 (SLST) where irregularities were found have also been declared null and void.
The Calcutta HC has also instructed the administration to take action on fresh appointments in the next 15 days.
One exception in the matter has been mentioned by the court in the case of Soma Das, a cancer victim. The court ruled that Das' job will remain safe.
Advocate Vikram Banerjee told ANI, "Particularly, the tender process was given to a blacklisted company, namely NYSA and that process is illegal. The number of illegal appointees can not be detected, in view of which the entire selection process has been cancelled. The beneficiaries of this illegal process must refund their salaries. The district collectors of all districts in West Bengal have been directed to start the recovery process within four weeks. A fresh selection process must be started. A fresh tender must be publicly advertised."
"During the process, a super-numerical post was created by the state of West Bengal. Given the illegal appointees, the state of Bengal tried to accommodate them, but this was purely illegal. The Division Bench has directed to investigate and find out who created the super-numerical post. If necessary, the influential person will be taken into custody by CBI," he added.
The court pronouced its judgement after hearing petitions and appeals relating to alleged irregularities in the selection of candidates in the 2016 recruitment process.
A division bench, formed by the Chief Justice of the High Court at the direction of the Supreme Court, was hearing the matter.
The hearing in the matter was concluded on March 20 and judgement was reserved by the division bench.
The West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) teacher recruitment scam came to light after the arrest of Bengal BJP leader Partha Chatterjee, a Trinamool Congress leader who served as the education minister in Mamata Banerjee's cabinet until his arrest on July 23, 2022.
Earlier on February 16, a team of the Enforcement Directorate conducted raids on close associates of Partha Chatterjee in Kolkata.
Chatterjee was arrested after Rs 21 crore in cash and jewellery worth above Rs 1 crore was recovered from the Kolkata residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the former education minister.
Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee, are facing a probe into the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.

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