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Kolkata: Calcutta High Court has stalled the counselling process for recruitment of higher secondary teachers in Bengal government-run schools due to irregularities. The counselling was to take place from 16-21 July.

Justice Shekhar Bobby Saraf of the High Court today directed the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (SSC) to stop the process while hearing a writ petition by some aspiring teachers.

The SSC had conducted a written test in 2016 for recruitment of 73,563 higher secondary teachers in the state. Although nearly two years have passed since the test was held, SSC is yet to publish a list of candidates who have cleared the test.

Despite this, this 6 July, SSC issued a notification saying that the counselling for “empaneled candidates” will be conducted at its office in Salt Lake from 16 July.

Challenging this, 20 aspiring teachers, who had appeared in the test in 2016, moved a petition in the HC on 8 July saying that SSC has violated laid down norms by issuing the notification before publishing the list of qualified candidates. In the absence of the list, chances are there that undeserving candidates will be called for counselling paving way for corruption.

Justice Saraf took up the matter on Wednesday and asked SSC’s counsel to furnish a report by 10 am today as to whether a list of qualified candidates has been published as per norm. The reply came that SSC could not publish the list due to internal problems and this made the judge to cancel the counselling notification and order a stay on the process.

The judge said that going by norms, SSC first have to publish a list of successful candidates and then it can start the counselling after a gap of three days. Till the list is published, the counselling and recruitment cannot take place.