The Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave the last chance to the 1,698 non-teaching staff in different state-run schools, found to be illegally securing jobs by both the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), to prove their innocence on this count following which the court will give its final judgement.
A single-judge bench of Justice Biswajit Basu said the matter will be heard again and finally on January 24 and by that time, these 1,698 staff will have to present their points of argument in the court, following which he will pronounce his judgement.
However, earlier in the day, Justice Basu was bent on ordering a drastic measure against these illegally-recruited non-teaching staff on Thursday only and accordingly, directed the WBSSC to submit the details of these candidates to his bench by 3 p.m.
“Already the students have suffered a lot because of such recruitment irregularities and corruption. This cannot be tolerated anymore. Those who have been recruited illegally should not be allowed to continue with their services anymore. They should not be allowed to enter the schools even for a day,” he held.
As ordered by him, the WBSSC counsel furnished the list of such 1,698 candidates, recruited for Group-D posts in different state-run schools.
However, counsel for the state government pleaded with Justice Basu to reconsider his stand, claiming that if the services of all these 1,698 candidates are terminated, the infrastructure of several schools will totally collapse since there will be no one to ring the period bells or to lock and unlock the school gates.
Justice Basu then softened his stand and asked the candidates in questions to submit their points of argument to his bench by the next date of hearing on January 24.
“When the judicial system of the country even gave a chance to Ajmal Kasab to present his point of argument, these 1,698 candidates should also get a similar chance,” he said.