The High Court of Meghalaya had no other option but to cancel the entire appointment of LP school teachers since the scam was of a gigantic proportion. “It had been a matter of such inconceivable black deeds with white fluid where the entire process could only be cancelled as being fraudulent,” the division bench of Meghalaya High Court had said in its 105-page order.
Even a glance at the outline foregoing would make it evident that serious issues, concerning the fairness and legality of the process of selection to the post of Assistant Teacher in Government Lower Primary Schools in the State of Meghalaya are involved and the entire matter is to be re-examined in the light of the two reports made by the CBI and the HLSC coupled with the submissions of the learned counsel for the parties.
The rather unfortunate story, as it turns out to be of these matters had its prelude in a notification issued by the Government of Meghalaya in its Education Department to the effect that anyone desirous to be appointed as Assistant Teacher in Government L.P. School should pass the State Eligibility Test.
It was also provided that the eligibility test was conducted Sub-Division wise and only the person with minimum qualification shall be eligible to sit in the test. While further providing the syllabus and duration of the written examination, the method of evaluation was also stated. Further, the division of marks on academic qualification, personality, expression ability and suitability in the personal interview were also provided with weightage marks for professional qualifications. The composition of Interview Board was also provided. With the condition that the candidate should not be less than 18 years of age and should not have crossed 27 years of age (relaxable to 32 years in case of SC/ ST candidates) as on 1st January of the year on which the post was advertised. In case of in-service candidates, it was provided that the candidate should have been within the age limit when first entered in service.
It was further provided in the notification dated 24.11.2008 that after the personal interview, list of the selected candidates in order of merit, shall be prepared by the Selection Committee and shall be sent by the Director, Elementary & Mass Education to the Education Department for approval. Thereafter, The Deputy Inspector of Schools proceeded to issue the advertisement dated 10.12.2008 inviting applications for appointment to the post of Assistant Teachers in the Government L.P. Schools in the scale of pay of Rs. 3450-80-3930- EB-90-4650-100-5650/-.
Pursuant to the advertisement aforesaid, about 4928 candidates appeared for the interview in the respective Sub-divisions of which, 1163 were declared selected in the first list issued by the Directorate of Elementary and Mass Education on 23.12.2009, including waiting list candidates, against 857 vacancies until the year 2010. While declaring the result, the Directorate also issued a notice to the effect that the results may not be free from clerical errors, omissions and mistakes, which might have occurred during compilation and even assignment of marks during the interview by the Board and hence, the aggrieved candidate may make representation within 60 days of the declaration of result. It appears that no effective representation at that stage was made but several unsuccessful candidates gathered various information under the Right to Information Act, 2005 and thereafter, preferred nine writ petitions, while questioning the selection process as being illegal, malafide and suffering from widespread manipulations and favouritism. One of the candidates even filed a First Information Report ‘FIR’ with the allegations that her marks had been erased in the compilation sheet and as a result of such manipulation, she was deprived of the job opportunity whereupon, Laitumukhrah Police Station Case No.62 (7) of 2011 was registered, initially, for offence under Section 408 IPC and therein, certain other complaints and FIRs alleging the offences underSections 120B/167/466/34 have also been clubbed and at present, investigation remains pending.
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