HC orders removal of top official in Bengal primary teacher recruitment scam


Kolkata, June 20 : In yet another embarrassment for the Trinamool Congress government, the Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered the immediate removal of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) President, Dr Manik Bhattacharya, from his post in connection with the recent primary teachers' recruitment irregularities scam. A single-judge bench of Justice Avijit Gangopadhyay, however, authorised the state government to arrange his replacement. He also ordered that during the interim period, Bhattacharya's responsibilities will be handled by WBBPE Secretary, Ratna Chakraborty (Bagchi). Justice Gangopadhyay also ordered Bhattacharya to be present at the court at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. On June 13, the same judge ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the recruitment of primary teachers by the WBBPE in 2014. Justice Gangopadhyay also ordered immediate cancellation of the appointment of 269 candidates for the post. While passing the order, he observed that these candidates secured jobs despite not qualifying in the written examination and some of them did not even appear for the same. On June 15, Justice Gangopadhyay slightly extended his earlier order on this count and directed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) be set up for conducting a probe into the primary teachers' recruitment scam. He also said that members of the SIT should not be assigned to other cases till this probe is completed and cannot also be transferred before the completion of the probe. Accordingly, on June 17, the CBI submitted names of the six members of the SIT to the Calcutta High Court. On the same day, the agency submitted the first status report on the progress of the agency's investigation in the issue. Meanwhile on June 16, the West Bengal government approached a division bench, headed by Justice Subrata Talukdar, challenging the entire order for CBI inquiry in the matter by Justice Gangopadhyay. /IANS


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