The Calcutta High Court, on Saturday, received a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging massive irregularities and corruption in the process of license renewal of different Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) and Diploma in Elementary Education (D.El.Ed) colleges in West Bengal.
The PIL gains significance against the backdrop of the recent findings of Enforcement Directorate (ED) about the involvement of these private teachers’ training colleges in the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam. The central agency had informed the court that Trinamool Congress MLA and the former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) Manik Bhattacharya received lump sum amounts from these private institutes.
In the PIL filed by Anindya Sundar Das, an advocate by profession, out of 630 odd teachers’ training colleges in the state, around 620 are private entities and they have to pay huge amounts of money during the time of license renewal.
In this petition, he has alleged that when the authorities of these private teachers’ training colleges move for their license renewals, they are withheld citing various reasons. Thereafter, the petitioner has alleged, the same licenses are renewed overnight after the authorities of these private institutions pay out a hefty commission to get their work done.
The PIL has been filed at the division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshee Bharadwaj. The petitioner has also appealed for an investigation by any central agency in the matter.
Recently, Tapas Mondal, the president of All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association (ABTTAA), an umbrella organisation of such private teachers training colleges and a prime witness in the teachers’ recruitment scam has informed ED as well to the media that Manik Bhattacharya was a recipient of a share of the offline admission fees received by these private entities.
“Candidates had to pay Rs 5,000 each for offline registration. ‘He’ used to send people to my office to collect the files and cash, which has been confirmed by the staff of my office,” Mondal said.
When asked who was the person who sent people to his office, Mondal said, “Manik Babu.”