Partha Chatterjee appointed committee for WBSSC’s Group-D staff recruitment illegal: Probe panel

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In a major embarrassment to the Mamata Banerjee government and former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, a Calcutta High Court appointed probe panel on Monday submitted a report to the court claiming that the recruitment committee of the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) formed with the concurrence of Chatterjee for Group-D non-teaching staff recruitment, is illegal.

According to the report submitted to the High Court by the probe panel, headed by retired Justice Ranjit Kumar Bag, the recruitment committee is not valid legally. The High Court’s division bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Rabindranath Samanta had ordered the formation of the committee in December in 2021 which filed the report on its findings on Monday.

As per the report, the panel recommended the recruitment of 609 candidates who were not eligible for the post and these candidates also knew they were hired illegally. The probe panel has now recommended strong penal proceedings against all those concerned with the irregularities.

For the past three days, infighting within the Trinamool Congress (TMC) over the WBSSC recruitment irregularities has become blatant and Chatterjee, who is also the Secretary General of the West Bengal Trinamool Congress (WBTMC), has been at the epicentre of this.

On Friday, party spokesman Kunal Ghosh had held Chatterjee responsible for the WBSSC recruitment scandal. However, the next day, the state transport minister and Kolkata Mayor, Firhad Hakim stood by Chatterjee and questioned Ghosh’s authority to raise questions on cabinet issues since he is not a minister.

On Sunday, Ghosh retorted and said there was no need to remind him of his status and also indirectly ridiculed Hakim for holding a brief for Chatterjee.

The CBI is already conducting enquiries related to a number of irregularities in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching WBSSC staff.

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