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27 Apr 2017

HC cop-hiring relief ... set aside order nullifying recruitment of 1.26 lakh civic police volunteers

TT, Calcutta, April 26: A division bench of Calcutta High Court today set aside an earlier order nullifying the recruitment of nearly 1.26 lakh civic police volunteers in Bengal.
"Since the civic police volunteers were appointed by the administration for maintaining law and order, the court should not interfere in the matter," the bench of Acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice Tapobrata Chakrobarty said in the order.
"The trial judge (Justice Sanjib Banerjee) had nullified the appointments of all the civic police volunteers on the basis of petitions filed by some of the candidates who had been denied jobs in the said post," the division bench added.
The verdict came as a relief to the state government.
"The appointment of civic police volunteers to assist the police in maintaining law and order in the state was the idea of chief minister Mamata Banerjee. While the matter was pending in court, the chief minter had already announced that civic police volunteers would be allowed to work till 60 years of age. Today's verdict is definitely a respite for the government," a home department official said.
Had the verdict stopped the recruitment process, it would have left over 1.26 lakh civic volunteers jobless. The administration would have had to make fresh recruitments based on the guidelines formulated by a committee formed on the instructions of Justice Banerjee.
Justice Banerjee had on May 20 last year described the recruitment process as "sham" and cancelled the appointment of the civic police volunteers with effect from January 1 this year.
He had also directed the state government to constitute a three-member committee to frame new guidelines for recruiting civic police volunteers in the future.
Bhangar poser
The high court today criticised the CID for its failure to trace those accused of killing a youth during the Bhangar flare-up in January this year.

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