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State may challenge order: HC orders CBI inquiry into Group-D appointments

The court was hearing a petition by some job aspirants, who challenged the appointments on the ground that the panel recommended the 25 names after the expiry of its term.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
November 23, 2021 6:25:06 am
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed the CBI to submit a report before the court by December 21.

The Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered a preliminary inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into alleged irregularities in the appointment of Group-D staff in state-run schools by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on purported recommendations by the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC).

The court was hearing a petition by some job aspirants, who challenged the appointments on the ground that the panel recommended the 25 names after the expiry of its term.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed the CBI to submit a report before the court by December 21.

The court will pass further orders after the submission of the preliminary inquiry report by the central agency.

The state government, on the other hand, is contemplating moving a division bench to challenge the single judge bench order.

“It is clear from the court order that there has been a massive corruption in the recruitment of Group-D staff. The state government could not deny it and that’s why they pleaded for a probe headed by a retired judge. We had no objection to it as we wanted any kind of probe into the matter. But the court observed that the probe must not be conducted by anyone who could be influenced by the state government. It ordered that the CBI will conduct a preliminary inquiry into the matter. Once the investigation agency submits its preliminary report, the court will look into it and pass further orders,” said advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

“As of now, the CBI will collect all documents related to the matter to find out who are responsible for this. Once this is done and a preliminary report is submitted, only then can criminal proceedings begin against,” added Bhattacharya.

The petitioners had initially produced before the court a list of 25 such appointees, who were “illegally” recruited. Later, they claimed that more than 500 additional such appointments were made. In its affidavit, WBBSE had claimed that all the appointments were given on the basis SSC’s recommendations.

But the commission argued that no such recommendations were made after its term expired on May 4, 2019.

Reacting to the court order, BJP leader Sayantan Basu said, “We welcome this order. All state government departments must be probed by the CBI.”

TMC MLA Tapas Roy said, “The court has passed an order today and the investigation will go on as per its direction. There is no point losing our sleep over it.”

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