West Bengal Recruitment Scam: Calcutta HC Directs CBI, ED To Give Record of Beneficiaries In The Scam

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"The investigating authorities shall enquire and identify the teachers who were appointed in the said recruitment process," Justice Sinha said

The Calcutta HC has directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to conduct additional investigations into the Primary Teachers Recruitment Scam and identify the scam's beneficiaries, particularly teachers, appointed in lieu of cash paid through agents or otherwise.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Amrita Sinha directed the investigating officers to investigate from all corners and place on record the details of the beneficiaries of the scam particularly the teachers who actually got the service in lieu of cash paid through the agents or otherwise.

“The investigating authorities shall enquire and identify the teachers who were appointed in the said recruitment process,” Justice Sinha further added.

CBI filed a report before the court which stated that they are continuing the investigation. It had been mentioned that on investigation of the complaint submitted by the accused Kuntal Ghosh, it had been conclusively established that the complaint lodged by him alleging torture at the hands of CBI officials and ED are false and without any substance.

Further, Enforcement Directorate had also filed a report dated July 14, 2023, which stated that proceeds of crime a total of Rs. 15 crores in respect of movable properties in the form of bank accounts, shares, vehicles, and so on, and 43 movable properties in the names of Sri Kuntal Ghosh, Ayan Sil, and Santanu Bandopadhyay, their family members, and their companies/firms were identified and attached via PAO dated July 13, 2023.

The advocate representing the petitioners submitted that a large sum of money was created in the fraud, the identities of the beneficiaries, particularly the instructors who are still in service, should be made public so that unqualified applicants can be screened out to make place for the qualified ones.

The issue concerned alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-D' staff in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on the purported recommendation by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBSSC).

On April 17 the Supreme Court stayed the earlier order passed on April 13, order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the ongoing probe concerning the infamous "bribes for jobs" scam.

On April 28, the top court directed the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to reassign the matter concerning the Primary Teachers' Recruitment Scam in West Bengal to another judge.

Later on, the matter was reassigned to Justice Amrita Sinha.

On May 08, 2023, Justice Amrita Sinha asked Abhishek  to lay out the exact details of his problem with the probe. Simultaneously, she also reminded him that he is not above any investigation.

Earlier this week, another SLP was filed against the judgement dated May 18, 2023 before a Supreme Court division bench presided over by Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud. The accused/petitioners asked for the directives for an independent investigation to be set aside, as well as the payment of costs. The apex court had set aside the order of Calcutta high court order whereby it had cancelled the appointment of 32,000 primary school teachers in West Bengal who were untrained at the time of recruitment.

The present court of Justice Amrita Sinha listed the matter on August 29, 2023.

Case Title: Soumen Nandy vs. State of West Bengal And Ors