In an important judgment, the Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered the cancellation of appointments of 842 Group C employees in West Bengal schools. Earlier the high court had cancelled appointments of 1911 Group D staff and 618 secondary level teachers who were illegally appointed through the SSC recruitment scam.
The high court observed that the group C employees gained employment in a fraudulent manner and by stealing jobs of qualified candidates. Of the 842 employees, 785 had received appointments by means of OMR sheet manipulations by the SSC while another 57 employees were engaged in jobs without SSC recommendations.
The court directed West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) to withdraw recommendations of the 785 employees by Saturday afternoon and ordered the state Secondary Education Board to cancel all 842 appointments by 3 pm. The court will decide later on whether the job losers need to return salaries they earned during the course of their employment.
In yet another development related to West Bengal state, a large number of government employees across the state on Friday joined the strike demanding dearness allowence hike, in spite of the warning from the West Bengal government. This is the first such strike called by government employees in Mamata Banerjee’s regime. A similar strike has taken place in West Bengal in January 2009, during the Left Fronts rule.
With an exception of Nabanna, the state secretariat, low attendance was noted in state government offices, especially in educational institutions. The Joint Forum of State Government Employees, which called the strike in government offices, schools and colleges across the state with the support of the CPI(M)-led Left Front, claimed the strike was successful. The BJP-dominated employees council is also supporting the strike.
Notably, the state finance department on Thursday issued a circular stating that no leave will be granted to the state government employees on Friday. However, the joint forum of employees termed the notification of the state government illegal and a large number of state government employees across the state participated in the strike defying the government’s order.