Kolkata: A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday pulled up the West Bengal government over the latter’s “lackadaisical” approach in a case related to irregularities in the recruitment of food inspectors in the state food and supplies department.
The matter was supposed to be heard by the division bench of Justices Harish Tandon and Shampa Sarkar on Friday, but the scheduled senior counsels representing the state government did not turn up for the arguments, which irked the judges.
The bench questioned the justification of appointing such counsels who do not bother to appear for arguments on the scheduled date of hearing.
The bench also observed that because of the ‘lackadaisical’ approach of the state government, the progress in this particular matter has been slow.
It also referred to the approach of the state government as ‘painful’.
The bench has now fixed August 16 as the next date of hearing in the matter. At the same time, the bench also issued a strong note of caution to the state government, stating that if the scheduled counsels do not appear in the next hearing, it will issue an ex-parte order.
In 2010, which was the last year of Left Front rule in West Bengal, 614 food inspectors were appointed in the state food and supplies department. It was alleged that the recruitments were made flouting the norms.
After the Trinamool Congress came to power in the state in 2011, a case was filed at the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) challenging the appointments, which ordered for termination of services of all the appointed food inspectors, who then approached the Calcutta High Court.
However, in 2016, the Calcutta High Court referred the matter back to the SAT, which maintained its earlier order and also directed the police to lodge cases against five members of the selection committee of the state food and supplies department.
However, the terminated food inspectors again approached the division bench of Calcutta High Court, the hearing for which was supposed to be held on Friday.