A Kolkata court on Friday sent former West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to the custody of Central Bureau of Investigation till September 21 in an alleged teacher recruitment scam, reported PTI.
The court also sent former president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Kalyanmoy Ganguly to the agency’s custody for the same period.
The Enforcement Directorate had arrested Chatterjee under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. On September 14, a Kolkata court had sent him to judicial custody till September 28. The CBI on Friday sought his custodial interrogation.
The central agency described Chatterjee as the mastermind of the alleged scam, according to The New Indian Express. “There was a nexus involving high-level officers of the education department,” the agency alleged. “There are many other top-level officers involved in the recruitment scam which was masterminded by Chatterjee.”
Chatterjee was the state education minister in 2019, when jobs were allegedly given to candidates in return for money instead of candidates who had qualified in the recruitment process.
On June 15, the Calcutta High Court asked the CBI to look into alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group C and Group D staff, assistant teachers of Class 9 to Class 12, and primary teachers.
A Calcutta High Court-appointed committee, led by retired judge Ranjit Kumar Bagh, said in its report in May that at least 609 illegal appointments in group D employees’ posts, 381 in clerical posts and a yet-to-be determined number of posts for assistant teachers for classes 9 and 10 at government-sponsored and aided schools took place in West Bengal between 2019 and 2020.
On July 28, Chatterjee was stripped of his party and ministerial responsibilities.