Calcutta HC orders CBI probe to identify masterminds protecting illegally-appointed teachers

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ordered a fresh CBI probe to identify the masterminds who were trying to influence the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) to protect the interests of those who were illegally appointed as teachers in state-run schools against some considerations.

A single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay also said that the court wants to know the names of the person/persons who influenced WBSSC to appeal to the court for permission to create additional posts to accommodate the illegally-appointed teachers.

Gangopadhyay ordered a fresh CBI probe to identify these masterminds at the earliest, and also directed the investigating team to submit a report to the court within a week.

The matter is related to an earlier application moved by the WBSSC seeking nod to allow it to go for additional recruitment of teachers without disturbing those who are already working as teachers for the last couple of years.

In fact, the WBSSC had also issued a notification earlier on this count. However, after the court clearly ruled that illegally-appointed teachers cannot be retained at any cost, the WBSSC on Wednesday appealed to the single-judge bench to withdraw the notification.

Gangopadhyay said that the onus of protecting the interests of the illegally-appointed teachers cannot solely rest on the WBSSC authorities, as there are bigger masterminds who are trying to influence the commission in this matter.

“The roles of certain agents, certain people acting as spokespersons and some ministers are disgraceful in this matter. I can name a few of them who are publicly giving assurances that the services of none will be terminated,” Gangopadhyay observed.

The WBSSC chairman’s contention that he was solely responsible for this entire development did not satisfy Gangopadhyay.

“It is not acceptable that the WBSSC chairman will take the onus of external influence and hence the CBI should probe and identify those influencing such a decision,” Gangopadhyay said.

He also asked state Education Secretary Manish Jain to be present at the court on Thursday.

“If the state Education Minister wants to be present at the court on Thursday, he is also welcome. Those acting as agents on this count are also welcome,” Gangopadhyay observed.

Reacting to the development in the court, senior state BJP leader Rahul Sinha said that it is the right step to identify the actual masterminds behind the multi-crore teacher’s recruitment scam.

Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha member Santanu Sen said that although he didn’t not want to comment on a court order, he wished that the CBI completes the investigation fast instead of dragging it for an indefinite period.

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