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Kolkata: Calcutta HC

Calcutta High Court upholds CBI probe into primary teacher recruitment

September 2, 2022
Mita Mukherjee

A division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday upheld the order of its single bench directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the illegal recruitment of teachers in government aided primary schools in the state by the West Bengal Board of Primary Education.

The division bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar and Justice Lopita Bandyopadhyay said that the CBI will continue its probe and the investigation will be held under the supervision of the single bench.

Upholding Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay’s order of a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in primary teacher recruitment, the division bench said the investigation into the money trail in connection with the appointments  will be done as required.

The division bench further ordered that the removal of 269  candidates  who selectively benefited from “one” additional mark will remain till disposal of the case before the single bench.

In its order the division today also upheld the order of the single bench on removal of Manik Bhattacharya from the post of president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education.

Delivering the 85- page order Justice Talukdar said the single bench will have the power to seek reports from the Central probing agency from time to time.

The state and the state primary education board had challenged the order of the single bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay .The hearing of the case had ended on July 19.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay  in June had directed the CBI to file an FIR  to initiate an investigation into the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers by the board  on the basis of Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) in 2014 .

The court had also asked the state primary board president Manik Bhattacharya and the board secretary Ratna Bagchi Chakraborti  to appear before the CBI.

The single bench had said in its order “In view of the illegality committed in respect of the second panel ( termed as additional panel, by the secretary of the board), which is wholly illegal and giving illegal appointment to 269 candidates by a queer method unknown  to law, I direct the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI for short) to start investigation by registering a case immediately against the board and start interrogating the President of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, Dr. Manik Bhattacharya, and the Secretary of the said Board Dr. Ratna Chakraborti Bagchi, which shall start today itself…..”.  

It was alleged by the petitioner that the 269 candidates were given an additional  “ one “mark for a wrong question out of around 23 lakh aspirants in the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) in 2014. It was claimed that a second panel with names of these 269 candidates was published in 2019.  

Maintaining that the second panel was illegal, the court had said that the appointments of these 269 candidates were void. It directed that the salaries of these teachers working in various  primary schools be stopped and not be allowed to enter their respective schools.

Also read: Kolkata: Calcutta HC rejects petition to hold “satyagraha” against private schools

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