Calcutta HC: Re-constitute CBI’s Special Team to Investigate Case of Teachers’ Recruitment Scam

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 18 November 2022 at 18:58 IST

In an unprecedented move, the Calcutta High Court mandated the rebuilding of the CBI’s special investigation team (SIT), which is looking into the alleged teachers’ fraud. The CBI was criticised by the court for delaying the investigation.

The single division Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay dealing the case where job applicants claiming to be deserving candidates claim that teachers’ jobs that should have been rightfully theirs have been given to undeserving candidates in exchange for bribes, an alleged teachers’ recruitment scam.

In an unusual move, the court requested that the Assistant Solicitor General (ASG), who was representing the CBI, provide three names of the DIG rank officers at the court hearing so that the court could select from the list of officers to reassemble the SIT investigating the alleged teachers’ recruitment scam.

The court went ahead and ordered the repatriation of Akhilesh Singh, a senior CBI officer who had previously been transferred, because neither the officer in attendance in court speaking on behalf of the CBI or the ASG could do that without instructions, nor could the ASG express his inability to do so without instructions.

Justice Gangopadhyay instructed the CBI to ask Mr. Singh to report to Kolkata within the next seven days after the CBI counsel informed the court that he was now assigned to Delhi.

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

It was further added that, “Within seven days of the date, the CBI is required to release the aforementioned DIG. To aid in the investigation, he is being returned to his previous employment “

The court also changed the names of the investigation team by four and dropped two.

All four inspectors—Angshuman Saha, deputy superintendent, Biswanath Chakraborty, Pradeep Tripathi, and Wasim Akram Khan—are to be brought into the SIT, the court ruled.

Regarding the dismissal of two policemen, the court declared: “With gratitude, SIT releases two officers. They won’t be permitted to touch any paper related to the probe starting today.”

The court continued, “This observation should not be considered as a stigma throughout their service career.”

The court stated that it was unhappy with how the case was developing “Only 16 of the 542 people who obtained jobs unlawfully had been questioned by CBI after five months. There are still 526 of these people alive.

Illegal appointments will surface if all 542 are thoroughly scrutinised. This could be due to fewer officers, inefficiency, or other factors that this court is not aware of “The court said in its ruling.

“It is observed that CBI is moving very slowly for reasons best known to them but not understood by this court,” the court stated in its decision.

The chief of the CBI’s SIT looking into the alleged recruitment scam was called by the Calcutta High Court’s single judge bench on Tuesday and ordered to appear before it on Wednesday at 2 p.m. with papers relating to the case’s investigation.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay wanted to ascertain how many applicants received appointment letters fraudulently and how many applicants submitted blank applications but still received appointment letters.

The court has issued a number of strong directives regarding the court-monitored probe into the suspected teachers recruitment scam. In a very uncommon action, the High Court judge also showed up for a broadcast appearance on a local television news programme, which caused controversy.

At public gatherings in Kolkata, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee voiced her concerns about media trials to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and Justice UU Lalit, the former Chief Justice of India.

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