In Bengal Job Scam Case, Unprecedented Move By Calcutta High Court

The court also added four new names and removed two from the probe team.


The Calcutta High Court, in an unprecedented move, ordered for the reconstitution of the special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI probing the alleged teachers’ scam. The court also pulled up the CBI for the delay in probe.

A single-judge bench comprising of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay has been hearing matters related to the alleged teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal, where job seekers claiming to be meritorious candidates allege teachers’ jobs that should have rightfully been theirs, have been given to undeserving candidates in exchange for bribes.

In an unusual move, the court asked the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) appearing for the CBI to come up with three names of the DIG rank officers at the court hearing so that the court could choose from the list of officers to reconstitute the SIT probing the alleged teachers’ recruitment scam.

As the officer present in court on behalf of the CBI or the ASG could not do that without instructions and the ASG expressed his inability to do so without instructions, the court went ahead and ordered the repatriation of Akhilesh Singh, a senior CBI officer who had earlier been transferred.

When the CBI counsel informed the court that Mr Singh is now currently posted in Delhi, Justice Gangopadhyay said the agency should ask him to report to Kolkata within the next seven days.

“There is no DIG in Calcutta office CBI ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) and Akhilesh Singh is directed to act as the head of the SIT and he should be released from his present assignment so that he can join here to investigate the criminality in the matter and till the investigation is over he should not be transferred,” the judge ordered.

“The said DIG should be released by the CBI within seven days from the date. He is being brought back to his earlier position to facilitate the investigation,” the court said.

The court also added four new names and removed two from the probe team.

“Angshuman Saha (deputy superintendent), Biswanath Chakraborty (inspector), Pradeep Tripathi (inspector) and Wasim Akram Khan (inspector): all four are to be inducted into the SIT,” the court said.

On the removal of two officers, the court said, “Two officers are released from SIT with thanks. From today they shall not be allowed to touch any paper in respect of the investigation.”

“This observation should not be treated as a stigma in their service career,” the court added.

The court, expressing displeasure over the progress of the case, said, “Five months have passed and only 16 out of 542 candidates who illegally got jobs have been interrogated by CBI. 526 of such persons are still left. If all 542 are examined rigorously then illegal appointments will come to light. Fewer officers, inefficiency, or reasons unknown to this court may be the reasons for this,” the court observed in its order.

In its order, the court said, “It is found that CBI is moving very slowly for reasons best known to them but not understood by this court.”

On Tuesday, the single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court had summoned the chief of the CBI’s SIT probing the alleged recruitment scam to appear before it at 2 pm on Wednesday with documents related to the probe in the case.

The single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay sought to know how many candidates got appointment letters fraudulently and the total count of people who had submitted blank papers yet got appointment letters.

The court-monitored investigation into the alleged teachers’ recruitment scam has seen several stern orders from Justice Gangopadhyay. The High Court judge, in a very unusual move, also appeared for a television interview on a local television news channel, sparking a controversy.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has complained about media trials to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and the former Chief Justice of India, Justice UU Lalit at public events in Kolkata.

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