Bengal teachers scam: CBI to now focus on forged age and qualification angle

A new dimension in the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal cropped up at the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday as several candidates were reported to have secured employment in the Class 9 and 10 teachers in different state-run school either by forging their age-related documents or their secondary and high-examination certificates in 2016.

Surprised at the new development, a single-judge bench of Justice Biswajit Basu ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe this new angle of irregularities.

“I would have ordered the scrapping of the entire panel. But since there are many eligible candidates in the panel, I am refraining from doing that,” Justice Basu said.

The names of 21 such candidates evolved in a related case at Justice Basu’s bench on Wednesday. He directed the CBI to summon and question each of them and get deeper in the conspiracy.

The matter will be heard again in January next year. Justice Basu is the second judge of Calcutta High Court after Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay who spoke of the possibilities of scrapping an entire panel.

On December 6, while hearing on a case on irregularities in recruitments in primary teachers in state-run schools, Justice Gangopadhyay has said that, if necessary, he would cancel the entire panel of candidates in the teachers’ eligibility test in 2015.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the opposition parties have launched scathing attacks against the state government and ruling Trinamool Congress over this development.

CPI-M Central Committee member, Sujan Chakraborty, said that the people of West Bengal are getting habituated to scams in all spheres. “Before one scam gets over, another scam evolves. It is a matter of shame that people of state get Education Ministers who indulge in such blatant irregularities and scams in teacher’s recruitments,” he said.

BJP spokesman Samik Bhattacharya said that the grudge of the state government or the ruling Trinamool Congress over central agencies like CBI is natural since the court is relying on these central agencies again and again to dig out different aspects of corruption.

Till the time the report was filed there was no reaction from Trinamool Congress on this count.




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