A single-judge bench of Calcutta High Court on Wednesday imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Trinamool Congress legislator and former West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) president, Manik Bhattacharya for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam in West Bengal.
This is the second time that the bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay has imposed a penalty on Bhattacharya, who is currently in judicial custody. On January 16, the same bench imposed a penalty of Rs 2 lakh on him.
While imposing the penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Bhattacharya, Justice Gangopadhyay ordered that a notice of the financial penalty be served to Bhattacharya at the Presidency Central Correctional Home, where he is housed now.
He also said that the former WBBPE president will have to arrange for depositing the penalty amount in the court within 15 days from the date of the notice being served.
Justice Gangopadhyay gave this verdict while hearing a petition filed by Sahila Parveen, who appeared for the entrance examination for recruiting primary teachers in 2017.
After the results were declared, she came to know that she had not qualified. After that she applied to WBBPE under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get a copy of her optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet and then made the application after payment of mandatory fee of Rs 500.
However, she was informed by the board that since there was a technical mistake in her application, she cannot be provided with a copy of her OMR sheet. Accordingly, she challenged that development at the Calcutta High Court.
On Wednesday, while giving his judgement in the matter, Justice Gangopadhyay described the move by WBBPE as unfortunate and observed that as the-then president of the board, Bhattacharya could not shy away from his responsibilities in the matter. Thereafter, he imposed a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on Bhattacharya.