A special CBI court on Saturday allowed the central probe agency to take former convener of the West Bengal School Service Commission’s (WBSSC) screening committee, S.P. Sinha, into its custody till September 22.
Arrested last month by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam in the WBSSC, Sinha is currently under judicial custody.
On Friday, the same court had approved CBI’s plea to take former state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee into custody. After being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in July this year, Chatterjee, the prime accused in the teacher recruitment scam, was under judicial custody.
CBI sources cited two reasons for seeking Sinha’s fresh.
“First, we want to ask him some more questions specifically on teacher recruitment for the 9th and 10th standards in state-run schools. Secondly, since Partha Chatterjee and former WBSSC Chairman Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay are already in our custody, we don’t want to miss the opportunity of grilling three of them together so that none of them can mislead us,” a CBI official said.
To recall, a Calcutta High Court-appointed judicial committee headed by justice Ranjit Kumar Bag (retd) had termed WBSSC’s screening committee as the epicentre of the teacher recruitment scam and Sinha as the mastermind in the matter.
The charge against Gangopadhyay is that he blindly approved the appointment recommendations forwarded by Sinha without cross-checking them.
Meanwhile, the CBI counsel on Saturday faced the wrath of the judge of the special court when he accused Sinha of not cooperating with the central agency sleuths.
The judge said that it is the duty of the CBI to bring out the truth from Sinha without giving the excuse of non-cooperation.
The judge also questioned as to why the CBI, which has so many trained and expert officers, is taking so much time in unearthing the truth.
The judge expressed displeasure when the CBI counsel informed him that the agency sleuths are yet to complete the process of questioning the ineligible candidates who secured teaching jobs against other considerations.