Calcutta HC questions WB govt over indiscriminate extension of fire services temp staff

Justice Debangshu Basak observed that the temporary staff who were given such extensions should be terminated from service

Calcutta HC (Photo: NH File Photo)
Calcutta HC (Photo: NH File Photo)


West Bengal government on Tuesday faced the ire of the Calcutta High Court over "indiscriminate" extension of the temporary staff in the state fire services department.

While hearing a petition in the matter, Justice Debangshu Basak questioned the rationale behind sudden extension for three years granted to the certain temporary staff in the state fire services department, who was originally recruited for a term of just one year.

He also observed that those who were given such indiscriminate extensions should be terminated from their services.

“Recruitment for a year’s term cannot be extended for an indefinite period. This should not be tolerated,” Justice Basak observed.

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed at the Calcutta High Court questioning the rationale of extension of the terms of temporary staff in the state fire services department at a time when over 5,000 permanent posts in various ranks in the same department were lying vacant.

Pointing out that currently there are 1,200 temporary staff-strength in the state fire services department, the petitioner questioned how the functioning of such a critical department can be managed just by extending the terms of the temporary staff while keeping the chairs of permanent employment vacant.

In his argument, the state advocate general S.N. Mukhopadhyay pointed out that as per the West Bengal Fire Services Act, 1950, 50 per cent of the total staff strength are permanent for which direct recruitment is done, while the remaining 50 per cent is done from among the auxiliary volunteers.

After hearing both sides, the court directed the state government to file a detailed report on this count within the next 15 days.

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