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SSC flouted norms in recruiting 381 Group-C staff

The probe panel had held the then screening committee chief Santi Prasad Sinha and two other panel members arranging for such illegal appointments.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) had flouted all norms while recruiting 381 Group-C staff, says a judicial probe committee’s report on Friday causing a major embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee-led state government.

The Calcutta High Court-appointed judicial probe panel headed by retired Justice Ranjit Bagh submitted its findings report before the division bench led by Justice Subrata Talukdar. The verdict in the case will be pronounced on 18 May.

According to the report, the screening committee recommended these 381 persons after the expiry of the term of the said committee, thus making their appointments totally illegal. The term of the said screening panel expired on 18 May, 2018. However, the same panel made the recommendations on 30 August, 2019.

What was even more alarming as per the report was that the names of 222 persons out of the 381 persons, did not even figure in any list or waiting list of those who have cleared the written examinations and hence these 222 persons did not even appear for the mandatory interview.

As per the report, they were given recommendation letters carrying scanned signatures of the WBSSC officials. In the report, the probe panel had held the then screening committee chief Santi Prasad Sinha and two other panel members Ashoke Kumar Saha and Soumitra Sarkar for deliberately arranging for such illegal appointments.

Screening panel’s programme officer Samarjit Acharya and his assistant Parna Bose were responsible for preparing these fake recommendation letters following on Sinha’s directions.

The judicial panel has recommended strong legal actions against the offender. The probe report comes as a major embarrassment for the current state commerce & industries minister and the Trinamul Congress secretary general, Partha Chatterjee, as he was the state education minister when these alleged irregularities took place.

The findings of the high court-appointed committee has however, triggered a political slugfest as the state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya claimed that it was not only the education department that was steeped in corruption but other departments of the government too would face the same fate if inquiry is undertaken. Sujan Chakraborty, of the CPM alleged that appointments were made in lieu of money thus undermining the future of the students, who were more deserving.