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Calcutta HC rejects petition seeking change in TET exam for coinciding with ‘Gita Chanting’ event

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A view of the Calcutta High Court in Kolkata. FILE

A view of the Calcutta High Court in Kolkata. FILE
| Photo Credit: SUSHANTA PATRONOBISH

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday set aside a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking deferment of the date of West Bengal Teachers Eligibility Test (TET) scheduled on December 24 on grounds that a programme of ‘Gita Chanting’ where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to be present is being held on the same day.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya said that directions sought in the PIL cannot be given.

“It is submitted that 773 [examination] centres throughout the State of West Bengal and only five centres are in Kolkata. None of the five centres in Kolkata are in close proximity to the venue of the event,” the Division Bench said. The event is scheduled at the Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata’s Maidan area. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Dilip Ghosh and a student have sought the change of dates of the TET examination where lakhs of students are likely to participate on grounds that it coincided with the religious event.

Postponed to December 24

According to the petitioners, the date of TET examination was earlier scheduled on December 10 but later the State government changed it to December 24. The Bench observed that the date of examination is decided by the appropriate board, academicians and administration.

The court pointed out that the second petitioner is a student from Paschim Bardhaman and the event in Kolkata will not affect him. The Bench, however, gave certain directions to ensure smooth functioning of vehicular traffic on December 24 when certain religious organisations are hosting a mass ‘Gita Chanting’ programme where the Prime Minister is likely to participate. The event ‘Ek Lokho Konthe Gita Path (Chanting of Bhagavad Gita by one lakh people)’ is aimed at creating a world record of chanting the holy book, according to organisers.

Posters of Mr. Modi with references to the Gita in the background have already come up in the city. Along with the Prime Minister, Shankaracharya Sadananda Saraswati of Dwarka is likely to be present at the event.

The event being held months before Lok Sabha election has evoked reactions in the political circles. A few days ago, the Trinamool Congress leadership organised a similar ‘Gita Chanting’ event at Sreerampore in Hooghly district where MP Kalyan Banerjee was present.

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