West Bengal: HC asks minister Partha Chatterjee to appear before CBI in recruitment scam case
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay said that he expects the Trinamool Congress leader to resign ‘in the interest of justice’.
The Calcutta High Court has asked Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday before 6 pm for alleged irregularities in recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in government schools, ANI reported.
Chatterjee is the industry, commerce and parliamentary affairs minister in the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet. When the alleged irregularities took place, he was the minister of school education of West Bengal.
A single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay on Wednesday said that he expects Chatterjee to resign from his ministerial post “in the interest of justice”, PTI reported.
“The bench also gave liberty to the central investigating agency to arrest Chatterjee, if needed,” said advocate Sudipta Dasgupta, the Hindustan Times reported.
Justice Gangopadhyay’s order came after a division bench of the High Court upheld his previous order asking the Central Bureau of Investigation to look into the allegations.
On April 12, Justice Gangopadhyay deemed a five-member committee appointed to oversee the recruitment of teachers for Class 9 and Class 10 along with non-teaching staff in groups C and D in government-aided schools as illegal, reported PTI. He also ordered the central agency to investigate the matter.
However, a division bench put a stay on the order.
On Wednesday, the same division bench comprising Justices Subrata Talukdar and AK Mukherjee said that Justice Gangopadhyay “was not wrong in ordering a probe into the alleged money trail involved”, reported PTI.
The judges that the matter will be investigated as per the orders of the single bench.
The division bench’s order came after a court-appointed committee recommended criminal proceedings after finding discrepancies in the recruitment, which was recommended by the School Service Commission, reported the Hindustan Times.
West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party president Sukanta Majumdar welcomed the court’s decision.
“This [TMC] government and its ministers are shameless,” Majumdar said. “They steal public money and then move court using tax payer’s money to shield corrupt persons. If the CBI starts investigation, the entire illegal trade will be revealed.”
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said “the BJP is selling the entire nation”.
“It’s not right that they would make such one-sided statements,” Ghosh said. “First check Tripura. Several positive things and developments are taking place in Mamata Banerjee’s administration.”