Teachers’ scam: Calcutta HC asks ED to be party in OMR sheet forgery case

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ordered the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to join the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the probe on the manipulation of optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets to accommodate ineligible candidates illegally in the appointment list for Class 9 and 10 teacher in state-run schools.

A single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay asked the ED to join the investigation process immediately and probe the financial angle involved in the scam.

On Wednesday, Justice Gangopadhyay questioned counsel for the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) on how many of the 183 “wrongly recommended” candidates are currently in service as teachers in different state- run schools. The commission’s counsel replied that while 80 of such candidates are already in service, the remaining have not joined service despite receiving appointment letters.

Justice Gangopadhyay directed the commission to recruit alternatives for those posts immediately strictly on the basis of merit.

It is learnt that the ED will probe the financial angle and try to find out details of the money paid by such wrongly-recommended candidates in procuring those jobs illegally. It will also integrate who among such candidates paid money and in what amounts as well find out the recipients and beneficiaries of those proceeds.

Senior advocate and the CPI-M Rajya Sabha member, Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said that this an extremely welcome decision on part of the Calcutta High Court. “Undoubtedly such wrongly recommended candidates secured jobs by paying huge amounts of money. It is also to be seen whether there is any hawala angle in the scam. The ED, being an agency expert probing such crimes relating to financial embezzlement, is the right agency to probe the scam,” he said.

20221214-190202

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