cbi: CBI files first charge sheet in Bengal school jobs scam

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday filed its first indictment against 16 defendants on Group C recruitment irregularities related to the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) fraud at a special court here.

Former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee and former senior officials SP Sinha, Ashok Kumar Saha and Kalyanmoy Ganguly were named in the indictment. The indictment was submitted by the federal agency to the Alipore Special Court.

Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Senior Advocate who acts for various petitioners, said: “It is a positive thing that CBI filed the indictment. But the investigation should not be closed and anyone involved in the fraud should be arrested.” Partha Chatterjee was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 23, while Santi Prasad Sinha, then a consultant at WBSSC and then Deputy Secretary of WBSSC, Ashok Kumar Saha, were arrested by the CBI in August this year.

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Kalyanmoy Ganguly, former chairman of West Bengal Board of Education Ad Hoc Committee on Secondary Education, was arrested in mid-September.

“The corruption is multifaceted and the corruption has happened at different levels of recruitment. The CBI filed the indictment today. The unsuitable candidates were recruited while the suitable ones didn’t get an opportunity,” said Firdous Shamim, another attorney also fighting the WBSSC case. Shamim had been fighting the case for one of the eligible candidates, Babita Sarkar. A commission headed by former judge Ranjit Kumar Bag had submitted a 1,500-page report to the Kolkata High Court into the alleged illegal recruitment of non-teaching staff in the WBSSC.

“The case in question was registered by order of the Hon-‘ble High Court of Calcutta. It has been alleged that the said defendants conspired with each other to exercise an undue advantage in the matter of appointing the unqualified candidates to the posts of Group C staff at various schools up to the 3rd Regional Level Selection Test (NT) 2016 process of the panel,” CBI said in a statement.

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The Commission recommended that an FIR be filed against four members of the Advisory Board, including Saha, Sinha and Kalyanmoy Bandopadhyay. They were part of the panel that issued letters of appointment to candidates. Sinha’s signature was found on the letters of appointment, which were illegally issued.

The HC has heard a number of petitions regarding alleged irregularities in the appointment of non-teaching staff (Groups C & D) and Class IX and X teachers in government-sponsored secondary and upper secondary schools.