The West Bengal Primary School Education Board on Tuesday admitted before the Calcutta High Court that discrimination was committed as not all of the over 20 lakh candidates who sat for a Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) in 2014 were given one mark for a wrong question.
The Board’s counsel, however, claimed that there was no criminality involved in it.
A single bench order had directed a CBI probe into appointment of 269 candidates, who got the benefit of the additional one mark for the erroneous question, and termination of their service as primary teachers in state government-sponsored and aided schools.
In an appeal challenging that order, the Board’s counsel submitted before a division bench presided over by Justice Subrata Talukdar that there was no reason for ordering a probe by the central agency.
Admitting that discrimination was committed as not every candidate in the recruitment examination got that one mark, primary board counsel Lakshmi Gupta claimed before the bench, also comprising Justice Lapita Banerji, that there was no criminality involved in the act.
Observing that this is a public service examination and not a class test where the teacher forgets to add some children, Justice Talukdar questioned whether an investigation can be denied.
Gupta also submitted that 2,800-odd candidates agitated after the results of the 2014 TET were declared alleging error in some questions and out of them, 269 were found otherwise eligible except that they were short by one mark to pass the test.
He stated that a committee of experts which was asked by the board to check whether the questions for the examination were correct had found an error in one and proposed awarding one additional mark.
Gupta submitted that the additional mark was given to 269 candidates since they were one mark short to clear the exam.
The court observed that the chain of circumstances as stated by the board lawyer appears very fortuitous.
Appearing for the affected candidates who had moved the high court challenging the appointments, senior advocate Bikash Bhattacharya earlier questioned the criteria for identifying the agitators who were given one mark extra.
He submitted that a proper investigation is required to reveal everything in the matter.
The bench adjourned hearing in the matter till July 7.