Calcutta HC Stays Portion of Earlier Order Directing 1,911 ‘Group D’ Staff To Refund Salaries

Hearing appeals challenging the dismissal of 1,911 Group D’ appointees in schools sponsored or aided by the West Bengal government, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed a portion of that order, which directed refund of salaries drawn by them.

The single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had on February 10 directed the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) to cancel jobs of 1,911 Group D’ employees, who were given appointment in state government-sponsored and-aided schools illegally, following manipulation of recruitment examination results.

A division bench comprising justices Subrata Talukdar and Supratim Bhattacharya directed that there will only be a stay of the portion of the order directing the appellants to refund salaries from the date of their appointments.

The petitioners’ lawyers, in five separate appeals being heard together, claimed before the division bench that the single bench passed drastic orders without granting them the opportunity of being heard.

The commission and other respondents in the appeals submitted before the division bench that the February 10 directive is the culmination of a series of orders by which the single bench adjudicated the issues.

The February 10 order came after the court found that the 1,911 candidates had got the recommendation from the state’s School Service Commission (SSC), owing to manipulation of their OMR sheets for the recruitment process in 2016 for Group D’ employees.

The court had directed the SSC to initiate steps to fill up the posts.

The order for dismissing the 1,911 Group D’ employees was complied with by the WBBSE, and the SSC also took steps to fill up the posts.

The CBI is investigating illegal appointments in teaching and non-teaching jobs in West Bengal government-sponsored and -aided schools.

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