The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the April 22 Calcutta High Court order cancelling the appointment of 25,753 teachers and non-teaching staff in West Bengal’s government-aided schools. However, the Supreme Court allowed CBI to continue its investigation into the alleged scam but directed it to not take any coercive steps against candidates or government officials.

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud with Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra called for an expedited hearing in the case and listed the matter for hearing on July 16.

The top court was hearing petitions challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order cancelling the jobs of over 25,000 teachers and non-teaching employees in Bengal schools. The Mamata Banerjee-led Bengal government has said the High Court cancelled the appointments “arbitrarily”.

Calling the recruitment case a “systemic fraud”, the Supreme Court said it would be unwise to set aside the appointments in their entirety. The court said there was a need to segregate valid and invalid recruitment and asked the Bengal government to decide the modalities.

However, the court clarified that only the candidates whose recruitment were found invalid need to refund the salary. The Calcutta HC had directed all the 25,000 teachers and employees to return the entire salary drawn, along with an annualised interest of 12 per cent.

The top court also said the CBI would continue to probe candidates who were appointed without being shortlisted even as it directed the probe agency not to take any coercive action against candidates or Bengal government officials.

Reacting to the Supreme Court verdict, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee said truth had triumphed.

“The honourable Supreme Court has defused the BJP’s ‘explosive’ hurled last week to malign Bengal’s image and destabilise the government. We will continue to defy all odds and stand shoulder to shoulder with the people until our last breath,” he tweeted.

Published By:

Poorva Joshi

Published On:

May 7, 2024

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