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Bengal SSC Scam: Mamata Plea for Court Rethink on Fraudulent Appointments Creates a Flutter

The HC has ordered termination of thousands of teaching and non-teaching jobs in government-aided schools due to glaring mismatch in marks and other irregularities.
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Image Courtesy: PTI

Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently created a flutter by advocating restoration of jobs of thousands of fraudulently appointed teaching and non-teaching staff of government schools, who were ordered to be sacked by the Calcutta High Court.

It may be recalled that recently more than 800 Group C post holders in government educational institutions lost their jobs following a court order after it was found out that the application process and examination marks were fudged.

Amongst those who lost their jobs were several leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and their relatives, including the Chief Minister’s niece.

At a time when the state School Service Commission (SSC) aspirants with valid pass marks are sitting on for over 730 days now, the Chief Minister pitching in for those who managed jobs based on discrepancies, has startled people and demoralised genuine candidates.

Banerjee was speaking a day after the court’s verdict during a programme dedicated to freedom fighter Aurobindo Ghose on his 150th birth anniversary. The Chief Minister, while appealing for a court rethink, said: “Please see to it that the children who have been involved in the scam are not victimised and return the jobs to them.”  She even went on to say that even if the said persons had committed any mistake in the eyes of the law, they deserved a second chance, and should be allowed to give a retest or some other arrangement be made.

“You please take a decision,” she said addressing some judges present in the programme.

Banerjee, however, maintained a stoic silence about crores of hard cash being recovered by the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation from some of the ruling party leaders involved in the job scam .

Newsclick spoke with Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, one of main advocates whose plea in the High Court opened the pandora’s box, who said that all those sacked were involved in the scam.

“Mamata Banerjee herself planned the entire episode,” he alleged, adding that she should seek apology from the people of the state and resign from office. He said the huge amount of cash being unearthed every day with regard to the job scam had “crossed all limits”.

“Youth leaders of that party (TMC) have been arrested by the ED and CBI, and their close photographs with the second-in- command in TMC, Abhishek Banerjee, have surfaced in the media. Hence, now the web of the scam is slowly catching up with Kalighat (the CM’s residence),” he added.

A senior political commentator said TMC was now perturbed as thousands of people who have lost their jobs will start gheraoing TMC offices and leaders, as their hefty bribes have gone in vain after the court order.

Banerjee also appealed to HC judge Subrata Talukdar ( who was present on the occasion) not to “take away jobs easily”.  Recall that  the HC division bench comprising Justice Talukdar had recently upheld the order of the single bench regarding sacking of candidates who adopted unfair means in the examination and got jobs in government-run educational institutions.

According to the OMR (optical mark reader) sheets of the Group C posts, which were recently unearthed, it has come to light that 3,030 persons who got zero in the examination have been given 58 marks by changing the final marksheet. A sizable section of those who got between 1 and 2 marks in the exams have been given 54 marks.

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