West Bengal recruitment scam: Calcutta HC upholds single-bench order on CBI probe
The Calcutta HC had ordered a series of CBI investigations after allegations surfaced that thousands of people were recruited as teachers and non-teaching staff in state run schools using fraudulent means
The division bench of the Calcutta high court on Thursday upheld the order of the single bench that ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday to probe “who is pulling the strings” in the School Service Commission (SSC) in the multi-crore recruitment scam in government schools.
Meanwhile, answering a question in the state legislative assembly on the issue of appointing ration dealers, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said that some people are moving courts and creating hindrances whenever the state government is trying to fill up vacancies.
The state government is trying to complete the recruitment process within three months, she said, but ‘huge money is being spent to fight legal battles’.
On Wednesday, the Calcutta HC’s single judge bench of justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay ordered the probe after the SSC submitted an application before the court to save the services of undeserving candidates by creating supernumerary posts.
“An endeavour has been made by one ‘benami’ application to save the services of the illegally appointed persons by creating supernumerary posts. While fighting the corruption this court will naturally want to know who is the brain behind it,” the order said.
The CBI was directed to start its investigation from Wednesday evening and submit its report within a week.
The court also directed state education secretary Manish Jain to appear on Thursday to respond to questions the court is likely to pose in connection with the ‘benami’ application.
Late on Wednesday, both the state government and the commission separately moved the division bench against the single bench’s order.
“On Thursday, the division bench rejected the appeals and upheld the order of the single bench,” high court advocate Firdaus Shamim said.
In its earlier order on Wednesday, the court said that it must know who is pulling the strings to burst out the racket of corruption.
“It is an organised crime which has been committed in respect of the school employees’ appointment, where a large number of genuine candidates have not got jobs and some persons got the jobs though it has been declared by this court in respect of some of the cases that those appointments are invalid and of no effect,” the order said.
The Calcutta HC had ordered a series of CBI investigations after allegations surfaced that thousands of people were recruited as teachers and non-teaching staff in state run schools using fraudulent means.
In June this year, the HC removed Ankita Adhikary, the daughter of former West Bengal junior education minister Paresh Adhikary, from her job and ordered her to return the salary which she had received as a school teacher since 2018.