Just a couple of hours after the Calcutta High Court ordered Trinamool Congress MLA and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya, to appear before the CBI by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, the Supreme Court gave relief to Bhattacharya from arrest till Wednesday afternoon.
Soon after the high court passed the order, Bhattacharya’s counsel drew the attention of the apex court, arguing that since a hearing in the same matter is scheduled at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, the central agency should be barred from arresting his client till that time. The Supreme Court accepted his argument and provided a shield to Bhattacharya from being arrested till 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Earlier, the high court’s single-judge bench of justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay ordered Bhattacharya to face the CBI by 8 p.m. over a petition alleging tampering and destruction of optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets in the examinations for recruitment of primary teachers in in 2014. The bench also gave liberty to the central agency to arrest Bhattacharya if he does not cooperate in the investigation process.
On September 23, Bhattacharya had approached the Supreme Court challenging a high court order directing CBI probe in the matter and removal of Bhattacharya from the chair of WBBPE president. The matter is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and till that time Bhattacharya has got relief from any cohesive action, including arrest by CBI sleuths.