Teachers’ scam: Calcutta HC refuses to grant bail to ex-WBSSC chairman

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday refused to grant bail to Subiresh Bhattacharya, the former chairman of West Bengal School Service Commission (WBBSC) and the former vice- chancellor of the University of North Bengal in connection with his alleged involvement in the multi- crore teachers’ recruitment scam.

Unable to get bail in the lower court, Bhattacharya had moved the bail appeal to the Calcutta High Court’s division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Ajay Kumar Gupta, the hearing for which was on Thursday. However, the division bench too refused to grant him bail.

The bench asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to furnish the details of the total number of cases registered against Bhattacharya. The matter will come up for hearing again on December 21.

On Thursday, Bhattacharya’s counsel while moving the bail plea informed the court that his client has been in judicial custody for the last 88 days. “He appeared for the CBI questioning five times and cooperated in the investigation process. The charge sheet in the case has also been filed and hence my client can be granted bail now,” Bhattacharya’s counsel argued.

Thereafter, Justice Bagchi made an interesting observation: “The maximum punishment in such a case is seven years of imprisonment. So, if you think the investigation process is delayed, you come after three and half years.

Bhattacharya was arrested by the CBI on September 19 in connection with his alleged involvement in the teachers’ recruitment irregularities scam. The CBI has already informed a lower court that the tampering and manipulation with the optimal mark recognition (OMR) sheets were done during Bhattacharya’s tenure as the WBSSC chairman. The CBI has also placed supportive documents on this count with the lower court.

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