Initial estimates by a joint review team has said that the total number of illegal teachers appointed as a result of the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam is 12,964.
The review is being done by a joint team of WBSSC, West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) and the counsels for the petitioners in the Calcutta High Court against these illegal recruitments.
The joint review is being done following an order by the Calcutta High Court’s single judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on September 21 directing the counsels of both WBSSC and the petitioners in the matter to review the recruitment and waiting lists on an emergency basis and submit a report on September 28.
Justice Gangopadhyay observed that those who secured teaching jobs in the state-run schools illegally against any consideration should be terminated from their services and replaced with eligible candidates who are in the waiting list.
“Accordingly, the process of identifying the illegal recruitments done against any consideration is almost complete. Next, the joint review team will review the waiting list and identify the replacements from that list,” confirmed a WBSSC official.
On September 21, Justice Gangopadhyay also directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team investigating the scam to submit a separate report on the number of ineligible candidates who got teachers’ appointments illegally. “If necessary, the CBI team might also consult the WBSSC officials while preparing their report,” Justice Gangopadhyay observed.
He then said that the two separate reports, the first from the joint review team and the second from the CBI will be tallied after which those getting appointment illegally will be terminated from their services and replaced by those eligible candidates who are in the waiting list.
Political observers feel that once the process of replacing the ineligible candidates with the eligible ones from the waiting list is completed, it might bring an end to the plight of several eligible candidates protesting on the streets of Kolkata for around 550 days. But a fresh issue of concern might come forth for the state government and the ruling Trinamool Congress.
Investigation in the scam so far by the CBI as well as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have revealed that those ineligible candidates secured the teaching jobs illegally paying huge sums of money to different influential persons concerned and once their services are terminated a fresh stir may begin as those terminated would demand the returning of their money.