The Calcutta High Court today questioned the criteria for appointing 1.30 lakh civic police volunteers by the West Bengal government, wondering how 1,351 candidates were interviewed on a single day by one panel. A division bench of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty wanted to know from the Advocate General Kishore Dutta whether the candidates had done NCC or marks obtained in secondary examinations were taken into account by the interviewers.
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The AG submitted that each interviewer in the panel could give marks to a candidate on a zero to 20 scoresheet and that apart from the physical appearance of the candidates, they had considered marks obtained in secondary examinations in rating an interviewee. The bench also questioned the speed at which interview of candidates could be held if 1,351 candidates appeared before one panel on a single day. The AG submitted that qualities and qualifications of each candidate had been duely considered by the panel before selection.
The AG had earlier told the court that the interview process began at 8.00 AM and continued till the next morning. The court was informed that 875 candidates were interviewed on April 8, 2013 at Barikul police station, while 1,351 candidates were interviewed on April 12, 2013 at Sarenga police station in Bankura district.
Justice Sanjib Banerjee had in May, 2016 cancelled appointments of 320 civic volunteers in Bankura and had ruled that the remaining 1.30 lakh would have their jobs till the end of the year. Petitions challenging the appointments had been filed by nine unsuccessful candidates who appeared for interview at Barikul and Sarenga police stations.
The hearing in the appeal by the state government challenging the single bench order was concluded today and judgement would be delivered at a later date.