CBI submits to Calcutta HC names of SIT members to probe teachers’ recruitment scams

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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday afternoon submitted to the Calcutta High Court the names of members of its Special Investigation Team (SIT) which would conduct parallel probes regarding irregularities in teachers’ recruitment in both the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) and the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC).

The six members of the SIT, which will operate under the direct supervision of the CBI’s new Joint Director (Kolkata Zone), N. Venugopal, are Imran Ashik, Somnath Biswas, Dharamveer Singh, Satyendra Singh, Malay Das and K.C. Rishinamal.

However, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, the counsel for the petitioners who challenged the recruitments, requested the court to reconsider the decision of including Rishinamal as a member of the SIT.

As per the court order, members of the SIT will not be engaged in any other investigation and will not be transferred before the investigation in this case is completed.

The CBI sleuths on Friday also submitted the first status report on the progress of the agency’s investigation in the recruitment scam. The report was submitted in a sealed envelope and the court is not making it public for the time being.

Advocate Firdaus Shamim, another counsel for the petitioners, told media persons that since the SIT will now operate under the direct monitoring of the Calcutta High Court, he is hopeful that the details of the recruitment scams will be revealed shortly and the offenders will be booked.

Meanwhile, Ankita Adhikari, daughter of West Bengal Minister of State for Education, Paresh Chandra Adhikari, who lost her job as a higher secondary political science teacher in a state-run school following a Calcutta High Court order, has already returned to the court the first instalment of the salary she drew from the school for little less than four years. She returned around Rs 7.94 lakhs.

On May 20, 2022, the Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Avijit Gangopadhyay cancelled Ankita Adhikari’s appointment on the grounds of flouting all norms as she neither qualified in the merit list nor appeared for the personality test. Justice Gangopadhyay also directed her to return the salary that she drew from the school in two instalments.

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