Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee on Monday accused central agencies of trying to harass him by summoning him for questioning despite a Supreme Court stay.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had stayed a Calcutta High Court order from April 13, which had asked the Central Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement Directorate to question Banerjee and former Trinamool Congress leader Kuntal Ghosh in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of primary teachers in West Bengal.
In 2019, jobs were allegedly given to candidates in return for money instead of candidates who had qualified in the recruitment process. A dozen officials of the state education department, including former minister Partha Chatterjee, have been arrested in the case.
On March 29, Banerjee – the Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary – had claimed at a public meeting that central agencies were putting pressure on accused persons in custody to name him in the case. Subsequently, Ghosh also claimed that he was being pressured by investigators to make allegations about Banerjee.
Ghosh, who is currently in jail, was in CBI custody from February 20 to 23. He was also in the Enforcement Directorate’s custody from his arrest on January 21 till February 2, according to Bar and Bench.
Referring to the claims by Banerjee and Ghosh, the Calcutta High Court had said on April 13: “It is a matter to be enquired and investigated whether Kuntal Ghosh took the [cue] from the public speech of said Abhishek Banerjee for which both of them can be interrogated both by ED and by CBI and such interrogation should be made soon.”
On Monday, the Supreme Court stayed all action against the Trinamool Congress national general secretary based on the High Court order. The court will hear the case again on April 24.
However, Banerjee said on Monday that he was given summons by the CBI at 1.45 pm despite the Supreme Court order. “In its desperation to ‘harass’ and ‘target’ me, BJP exposes CBI and ED to contempt of court,” he said on Twitter.
CBI arrests TMC MLA Jiban Krishna Saha
Meanwhile, the CBI arrested Trinamool Congress MLA Jiban Krishna Saha on Monday in connection with the same case, PTI reported. The legislator from the Burwan constituency was produced before a special court, which sent him to CBI custody for four days.
Saha is the third Trinamool Congress leader to have been arrested in connection with the case, the other two being Partha Chatterjee and Manik Bhattacharya.