The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested North Bengal University vice-chancellor, Subiresh Bhattacharyya, the former chairman of West Bengal School Service Commission, in connection with the teacher recruitment scam in the state.
Bhattacharyya was the chairman of the commission from 2014 to 2018 when Partha Chatterjee was the minister of the education department.
The CBI had called Bhattacharyya for questioning at its office in Kolkata during the day. After questioning him for several hours, the Central agency took him into custody after finding him non-cooperative. The CBI said that he was arrested as there were inconsistencies in his statement.
According to sources Bhattacharyya along with others had been involved in appointing several undeserving candidates whose names did not figure in the merit list or who held low ranks.
Bhattacharyya’s name was first mentioned in the report filed by Justice (retired) R.K.Bag committee submitted before Calcutta High Court.
The report had stated that 381 candidates were recruited in group C posts of state-aided schools across Bengal. Among them 222 candidates were not in the panel or in the waiting list. The committee had recommended a departmental inquiry against Bhattacharyya and some others in various posts of the SSC at that time.
Officials of CBI had earlier conducted search operations at Bhattacharyya’s flat at Bansdroni in Kolkata on August 24 and the agency had sealed the flat the same day.
Bhattacharyya on that day had held a press conference on the roof of the building and said that the CBI had not found anything at his flat, there was no criminal charge against him in the Bag committee report and there was no irregularity in the recruitments held during his tenure.
The CBI is investigating irregularities in teacher and non-teaching staff recruitment process held by the commission in 2016 following an order of Calcutta High Court which is also monitoring the probe.
The Central agency had earlier arrested former education minister Partha Chatterjee, education department officials S. P. Sinha and Ashok Saha, Kalyanmoy Ganguly, former president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and Prasanna Roy a relative of arrested former education minister.
Bhattacharyya will be soon produced before court and the CBI is likely to seek his custody for further interrogation.