Updated: May 26, 2022 5:07:08 am
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday questioned West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee for more than eight hours in the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam case.
Chatterjee, who was the education minister when the alleged illegal appointments were made by the SSC, was questioned in three shifts at the CBI office in Kolkata, an official said.
The senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader was quizzed about the purpose of the formation of the SSC advisory committee and how the panel members were appointed, it is learnt. The members of the advisory panel, which was constituted by the School Education Department in November 2019 for monitoring pending recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government-aided schools, have already been questioned by the CBI sleuths.
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Chatterjee was asked questions on the illegal appointment of Minister of State for Education Paresh Adhikari’s daughter as a primary school teacher, the official said. The Behala Paschim MLA was also asked “under whose directive were the illegal appointments made”, he added.
Chatterjee was on Wednesday morning called for questioning again by the agency after his answers did not match with those by the members of the advisory panel. This was the second time since May 18 that Chatterjee, also the secretary general of TMC, was grilled by the central agency in connection with the case.
He was questioned for over three hours during his first appearance.
The Calcutta High Court had earlier upheld the orders of a single bench that directed the CBI to inquire into the alleged illegal appointments by the SSC.
The CBI is also looking into the alleged anomalies in recruitments in Group C posts in government-aided schools through the West Bengal School Service Commission, an official said on Sunday. Chatterjee, who is currently the minister for industries and commerce, was directed to present himself before the CBI on Wednesday by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of Calcutta High Court last week.
He had also directed all five members of the advisory committee to appear before the CBI.
The CBI had on Tuesday sought income tax (I-T) return papers of Partha Chatterjee, Minister of State for Education Paresh Adhikary and TMC’s Birbhum district president Anubrata Mondal from the income tax (I-T) department. According to CBI sources, the central agency has sought these documents from the three ruling party leaders and the income tax department to match them together.
The central agency also disconnected the internet connection of the School Service Commission office in Kolkata to prevent any attempts to hack the commission’s server, said another official. — With PTI Inputs
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