Probe recruitment of teachers, Calcutta HC directs CBI – The Hindu

Kolkata News

Two days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed an FIR in connection with the recruitment scam involving Group D staff in State–run schools, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to probe another ‘irregularity’ in the appointment of teachers for Classes 9 and 10 and register a case by the end of the day.  

”Therefore, this matter is also required to be investigated by CBI by registering a new case in this matter as it relates to appointment of Assistant Teachers in Classes IX and X…. The Regional Head of CBI is directed to start investigation in this matter after registering a case in course of the day itself,” Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay said in his order.

In the six–page order, Justice Gangopadhyay expressed surprise over “the deliberate false statement made by Dr. S. P. Sinha before this court which has been exposed from the annexure of the supplementary affidavit in this matter”. Mr. Sinha was the convener of a five–member committee of the West Bengal School Service Commission, the body that carries out the recruitment of teachers and other staff in the State–run schools.

The order also points out that “though there is a six–storeyed building of the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC), the meeting of the committee was to be held in the chamber of the Private Secretary to the Minister–in–charge  (MIC) of the Education Department”. “Whether the then MIC knew about such [a] meeting or not or any other thing as to the corrupt practice in such appointment is a matter to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation and they are given a free hand to interrogate any person they think fit to unearth the corruption in the appointment [scam] in government–aided schools whatever be his social or political status,”  the order said.

FIR in Group D recruitment scam

In the irregularities in the recruitment of Group D staff, an  FIR was registered  by the CBI at its Anti-Corruption Branch in Kolkata  under Sections 120B, 420, 468, 471 of the IPC and under Section 7 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 [as amended to P.C. (Amendment) Act, 2018]. The FIR was filed in compliance with the order passed by the bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on April 5.

The case involves “dishonestly extending undue advantage in the matter of giving appointment to the undeserving and unlisted candidates to the posts of Group D staff, in criminal conspiracy with each other by flouting the departmental rules, using false and forged documents as genuine and by depriving the deserving and genuine candidates from getting the said regular salaried jobs”.  The alleged irregularities involve appointment of 98 staff appointed by the SSC.

Justice Gangopadhyay in his order on April 5 said the “money trail, if there is any, is also to be investigated by CBI”.  And for that the “CBI should take help of any police authority including the State police and the CRPF to call those 98 persons who are added as respondents in this matter in batches to [the] CBI office”.

Justice Gangopadhyay had directed that former officials of the SSC, including Mr. Sinha, must be questioned by the CBI. But when Mr. Sinha approached the court challenging Justice Gangopadhyay’s order, four division benches recused themselves from hearing the petition. Prior to that, Justice Gangopadhyay had written to the Chief Justice of India and the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court expressing displeasure that his orders directing the CBI to probe the recruitments carried out by the SSC were being stayed by larger benches.