Teachers recruitment scam: CBI quizzes Bengal minister for second time

The CBI on Thursday had lodged a first information report (FIR) against Adhikary, his daughter Ankita and other “unknown public servants” under sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides sections under Prevention of Corruption Act.
West Bengal minister of state for education Paresh Chandra Adhikary at the CBI office in Kolkata on Thursday. (PTI)
West Bengal minister of state for education Paresh Chandra Adhikary at the CBI office in Kolkata on Thursday. (PTI)
Published on May 20, 2022 11:43 AM IST
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KOLKATA:

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths on Friday questioned West Bengal minister of state for education Paresh Chandra Adhikary for the second time in two days in connection with his daughter Ankita’s alleged illegal recruitment in a government school.

Adhikary, who was questioned for nearly three hours on Thursday evening, reached the CBI office at Nizam Palace in Kolkata on Friday morning. His daughter, however, didn’t turn up.

The federal agency on Thursday had lodged a first information report (FIR) against Adhikary, Ankita and other “unknown public servants” under sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) besides sections under Prevention of Corruption Act.

Petitioner Babita Sarkar had told the Calcutta high court that while she scored 77 marks in the state level selection test held in 2016, Ankita got 61 marks. Despite this, Ankita was recruited as a school teacher in a higher secondary school in Cooch Behar district.

“My rank in the merit list was 20. Ankita’s name was not on the merit list or waiting list. But suddenly during the second counseling I found that my rank was 21. A closer look revealed that a new name Ankita Adhikary has been included in the list and she was holding the first rank. Since then, I ran from pillar to post but didn’t get any response. It was in 2021 that I filed the petition in the high court,” said Sarkar.

The FIR lodged by the CBI reads: “lt is further alleged that some powerful invisible hands definitely were working to manipulate the merit list for appointment, otherwise Ankita Adhikary, daughter of Paresh Chandra Adhikary could not have been included in the wait list at serial number 1. It is further alleged that there is a scam in appointments to the posts of said assistant teachers.”

Adhikary, who was earlier a senior leader of the All India Forward Bloc, joined the Trinamool Congress in 2018. His daughter was recruited in 2018.

The CBI has also called former state education minister Partha Chatterjee for a second round of questioning in connection with an alleged school recruitment scam.

TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh earlier told reporters, “What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. The party won’t shield anyone who is found guilty. But as of now investigation is going on and everyone should be given a chance to speak.”

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