The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the alleged “irregularities” in the recruitment of teachers for classes IX and X in government-aided schools of West Bengal.
Directing the CBI to register a fresh FIR in the matter, a single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who had two days ago ordered a CBI probe into the Group D staff recruitment scam, asked the central agency to “feel free to investigate and interrogate all persons — however influential they are” — involved in the scam.
“Whether the then Minister-in-charge (MIC) of the Education Department knew about the corrupt practice in such appointments will be investigated by the CBI. They have been given a free hand to interrogate any person, irrespective of their political and social status, they think will help them unearth the corruption in the appointment in government-aided schools,” said Justice Gangopadhyay.
“Though the government has sought some time to look into the matter to root out the corrupt practices, I am not ready to accept such submission, because as of today we have left with a committee formed by the division bench apart from one case registered in another matter (WPA 18585 of 2021, Laxmi Tunga & Ors. –Versus- State of West Bengal & Ors), and nothing else. Time is running out. Therefore, this matter is also required to be investigated by the CBI by registering a new case in this matter as it relates to the appointment of assistant teachers in classes IX and X,” said Justice Gangopadhyay in his order.
Meanwhile, ticking off Shanti Prasad Sinha, former convener of a five-member committee of the West Bengal School Service Commission (BSSC) that recruits teachers and other staff in the state-run schools, in the Group D staff recruitment scam case, for “lying during the interrogation”, Justice Gangopadhyay said, “What surprises me the most is deliberate false statements made by SP Sinha before this court, which has been exposed from the annexure of the supplementary affidavit in this matter.”
On Tuesday, in connection with the Group D staff recruitment scam case, the Anti-Corruption Bureau of the CBI had registered an FIR against former Deputy Director of the School Service Commission Alok Kumar Sarkar and an unidentified official of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission, following an HC single bench order, under 120B, 420, 468 and 471 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). “The suspected offences are criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery for the purpose of cheating, using as genuine forged documents and offences relating to public servant being bribed,” the CBI said in the FIR.
The direction was issued after hearing of a bunch of petitions that alleged irregularities in the appointment of ‘Group-D’ staff.