A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here on Thursday extended the judicial custody of former West Bengal Education Minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee till February 2 in connection to the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in the state.
Similar extensions were ordered for co-accused – the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education’s (WBBSE) former President Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay and the West Bengal School Service Commission’s (WBSSC) former Chairman Subiresh Bhattacharya.
On Thursday, Chatterjee’s counsel Selim Rahman made a forceful argument in the court while moving the bail plea on behalf of his client. Even drawing the reference of Bollywood blockbuster movie “Jolly LLB”, Rahman also claimed that going for a sit-in demonstration will be the only course left for him and his client.
“The court is accepting all the pleas moved by CBI on this count. However, the plea of the central agency is not backed by any logic. My client was not responsible for giving appointment to any teacher, be it eligible or ineligible. So, he cannot be held responsible for the appointment of ineligible teachers. Not a single penny was recovered from his possession,” Rahman argued.
He also countered the CBI counsel’s plea for extension of judicial custody under the influential theory. “All the documents related to the case have been confiscated by the CBI. My client will not be able to visit the office of the state Education Department after being released on bail. So where does the question of influencing the matter come from?” Rahman questioned.
On Monday, the judge of the court expressed satisfaction over the progress of investigation by CBI and also observed that almost three-fourths of the investigation relating to the probe on non-teaching staff recruitment irregularities have been completed. The judge also expressed satisfaction on the progress of the probe in case of the secondary teachers’ appointments. Finally, he ordered extension of judicial custody for the seven accused till February 2.