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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 02 March: THE near 1.30 lakh civic police volunteers in the state will continue to be in service until the litigation over their appointment is disposed of, Calcutta High Court said today.

Earlier the High Court had extended the services of the civic volunteers till 06 March, from the 31 December 2016 termination date that was ordered by a single judge bench of the HC. This is fourth extension that has been granted by the HC division bench.

The division bench of acting Chief Justice Nishita Nirmal Mhatre and justice Topobrata Chakraborty today passed the new order while hearing into a petition by the state government challenging the termination of the civic volunteers over lack of transparency in their treatment.

Justice Sanjib Banerjee of the High Court had in May last year ordered the termination after a group of youths from Bankura had filed a petition saying that the appointment of civic volunteers was made without following any norms and that large-scale corruption took place in the matter.

During today’s hearing, counsel for the Bankura petitioners Bikash Bhattacharya told the division bench that although justice Banerjee had allowed the civic volunteers to continue in service until 31 December last year, the state government has in its affidavit to HC has stated that the term would end in 2017.

On hearing the argument, the division bench said that the civic volunteers would continue to be in service until the HC had disposed of the litigation. The next hearing in the case would be on 07 March.