(Eds: Adds details) Kolkata:
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said that her government will challenge the Calcutta High Court order cancelling jobs of around 36,000 primary teachers in state-sponsored and aided schools.
She also urged those teachers who lost their jobs and their family members not to be depressed as her government is with them.
The Chief Minister also alleged that those teachers lost their jobs because of the ongoing agitation of the state government employees demanding a hike in their DA and bringing it at par with the central government staff.
“We have been getting appeals from the families of these 36,000 (teachers) who lost their jobs. I feel very bad. We have decided to move the division bench,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
The Calcutta High Court on Friday ordered cancellation of the appointments of 36,000 primary teachers in state-sponsored and aided schools as the due procedure was not followed in the appointment process.
“Do not be depressed, remember that our government is with you. This is our responsibility and we will fight this matter as per legal terms,” she said.
“Some claimed they were not trained but that is not correct. They have undergone training. But I will not support corruption or criminal activity,” she said.
On the state government employees agitating for hike in DA at par with central government employees, she said, “Go get a central government job, you will get more. When you are a state government employee, you will have to follow the state’s rule.” “DA is not mandatory but optional. If I have funds and I am satisfied with your work, I will pay you the hike as a reward. The Centre conducts a review of the performance of its employees which we do not do. But don’t think I am weak,” she said.
The service rules and financial policy of the Centre is different from that of the state government, she said.
Banerjee said state government teachers are getting their salaries on the first day of the month, which was not the case during the Left Front rule.
She alleged that the CPI(M) has joined hands with the BJP in instigating the state government employees.
“CPI(M) leaders have no work and they are plotting so that lakhs and lakhs of people lose their jobs. Do you think you will gain politically and consolidate your position?” she said.
Earlier in the day, the Calcutta High Court granted permission to the West Bengal Board of Primary Education to file an appeal against an order that cancelled the appointment of around 36,000 primary teachers.
The board’s lawyer Lakshmi Gupta mentioned the matter before a division bench presided over by Justice Subrata Talukdar seeking leave of the court to challenge the May 12 order of the single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.
The division bench, also comprising Justice Supratim Bhattacharya, allowed the board to file the appeal.
Ordering the cancellation of the appointment of around 36,000 candidates who were untrained at the time of their recruitment as primary teachers, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Friday observed that “corruption of this magnitude” was never known in West Bengal.
The single bench, however, directed that those teachers who got employment following the recommendation of the board in respect of the 2016 selection process will be allowed to work for four months from May 12 at a remuneration equal to a para teacher of a primary school.
The court had also directed the board to arrange for a recruitment exercise within three months only for the candidates who participated in the 2016 appointment process. Candidates who have obtained training qualifications in the meantime will also be included in the exercise. PTI SCH AMR NN ACD ACD