The Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered the West Bengal Central School Service Commission to immediately stop the payment of salary to the 25 appointees of Group-D' (non-teaching staff) who had been allegedly been appointed after the expiration of the panel prepared for giving appointments to the post of Group-D in the Education Department. The Court was adjudicating upon a batch of petitions contending alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-C' and 'Group-D' (non-teaching staff) in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on the purported recommendation by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBSSC).
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay at the outset noted that a Division Bench of the High Court had stayed his earlier order wherein a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe had been ordered into the alleged irregularities in appointments of non-teaching staff. A Division Bench comprising Justices Harish Tandon and Rabindranath Samanta on Wednesday had issued the following order,
"We find that a prima facie case is made out by the appellants. The impugned order, so far as it relates to the enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation is concerned, is stayed for a period of three weeks from date or until further order/orders of this Court, whichever is earlier"
Accordingly, Justice Gangopadhyay on Thursday noted that only the direction for a CBI enquiry had been stayed by the Division Bench and not the entire proceedings. As a result, he observed,
"Which such facts have already come to light that recommendations were made after expiry of the panel in respect of 25 persons, I am of the view that no amount of argument will change those facts and nobody will be able to change those facts by making submissions. The facts will remain the facts whether any submission are made or not. If recommendations are made illegally and appointments are made on the basis of those illegal recommendations, those who have been appointed in a school as Group-D staff cannot have any right to get the salary from the public exchequer"
Furthermore, the Court also took on record a supplementary affidavit filed by the petitioners containing a tabular list stipulating the recommendation letters or the appointment letters which have come into their possession. Accordingly, the Commission was directed to scrutinize the documents annexed to the supplementary affidavit to see whether any recommendation was made after the expiry of the panel.
"If the School Service Commission finds that recommendations from the said list were made after expiry of the panel, they will issue letters immediately to the concerned District Inspector of Schools for stopping the salary of such persons until further order of this Court", the Court ordered further.
The Court further directed the Commission to serve a copy of the supplementary affidavit by speed post with A/D only to the persons in favour of whom recommendation letters have been issued after the expiry of the panel so that they are kept informed.
The matter has been listed for further hearing on December 9 at 2pm.
Case Title: Sandeep Prasad & Ors v. State of West Bengal & Ors