A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Monday rejected the probe agency’s plea for extension of custody of vice-chancellor of the University of North Bengal, Subiresh Bhattacharya who was arrested in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.
The CBI had sought extension of Bhattacharya’s custody by another four days. The court also rejected the bail plea moved by Bhattacharya’s counsel, and instead remanded him to judicial custody till October 10.
The CBI sleuths arrested Bhattacharya, also the former chairman of WBSSC in connection with the recruitment irregularities. On September 20, the special count of CBI remanded him to judicial custody till September 26.
On Monday, he was presented at the court and the CBI counsel made an appeal for extension of his CBI custody by another four days.
The CBI counsel said that since Bhattacharya was not cooperating with the investigating officials and hence extension of his CBI custody is required.
However, Bhattacharya’s counsel said that he was not questioned even once during the last seven days in the CBI custody and hence he should be granted bail.
The judge told the CBI counsel that the latter’s argument that Bhattacharya was not cooperating with the central agency sleuths does not stand since he was not questioned even once during the last seven days.
On Monday, the investigating officer of CBI in the matter informed the court that answer-papers of over 1,000 examinees appearing for teachers’ recruitment examination by WBSSC were tampered with.
He also told the court that Bhattacharya had full knowledge about the answer-paper tampering.
Earlier, the CBI counsels and officers of CBI faced the wrath of the judge for presenting Bhattacharya at the court much after the scheduled time of presentation.
The CBI counsel pleading apology said that immense traffic jam on the streets of Kolkata was the reason for the delay.
However, the judge was not satisfied with his explanation and said that even the walking distance between CBI’s Nizam Palace office and the court cannot justify the delay.
Former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee, former West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) president, Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay, former WBSSC secretary, Ashok Saha and former convener of WBSSC’s screening committee are already in the judicial custody in connection with the scam.