Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday stayed the recruitment process for primary teachers, for which over 50 lakh candidates have applied, after three applicants challenged it alleging procedural glitches.
More than 34,000 posts for primary teachers, which have been vacant for years, are scheduled to be filled up through the process.
Justice Debashish Kar Gupta passed the stay on the process and directed the state education department and the petitioners to file affidavits stating their position before the final hearing three weeks after the Christmas holidays.
Examinations in phases for the recruitment are scheduled to begin in the fourth week of December.
A number of candidates, who have taken primary teachers` training, moved the court claiming the criteria for sitting for the examination has been relaxed contrary to provisions of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE).
Counsel Subrata Mukhopadhyay, appearing for the candidates, submitted that NCTE guidelines provide that trained people are only eligible for being recruited as primary teachers.
The state government had moved the NCTE seeking relaxation of conditions, claiming there were not enough candidates for the huge number of posts to be filled up.
The NCTE had granted relaxation for filling up vacant posts with untrained people if adequate number of trained candidates were not found, he submitted.
Mukhopadhyay submitted that the state government allowing all the candidates, both trained and untrained, to sit for examination together was contrary to the relaxation provided by NCTE and claimed that only after recruitment process for trained teachers were over and if there were still posts vacant, the state could allow recruitment of untrained teachers.
The state counsel claimed there was no violation of norms and the petitions were motivated and not maintainable.