The West Bengal government, which is already riddled with multiple scams relating to recruitment irregularities in the education sector, received yet another jolt on Monday as the Calcutta High Court ordered a stay on recruitment in the fire services department following allegations of corruption and irregularities in the recruitment process.
A division bench of Justice Harish Tandon put an interim stay on the appointment of 1,500 fire operators in the state fire services department. The matter will be heard again on July 11.
The petitioners had alleged massive irregularities in the recruitment of firemen in the general category. The main allegation was thart there were irregularities in the interviews of those who secured equal marks in the written test. It was also alleged that wrong questions were used in the written test.
After the written test, a total of 5,375 persons were shortlisted for interview. After the results were declared, some candidates approached the state administrative tribunal (SAT) alleging irregularities in the recruitment process.
However, the SAT rejected the petitions, following which the petitioners approached the high court.
State Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose said that when the recruitments were made, he was not in charge of the fire services department.
“However, I took charge when the recruitment process was challenged in the SAT, which was ordered in favour of the state government. Now the Calcutta High Court has stayed the recruitments and I would not like to make any comment on the court order,” he said.
State BJP spokesman Shamik Bhattacharya said that ever since the Trinamool Congress came to power in West Bengal in 2011, no recruitment in any state government department has been made without corruption and irregularities.
“From the education department to the fire services department, from the forest department to the irrigation department, all the recruitment processes have been marred with corruption,” he said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is already conducting a probe into the recruitment of teachers and primary teachers by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) and the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), respectively.