Alongside its ongoing probe into the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities, the Enforcement Directorate has started focusing on the primary teachers’ recruitment indiscretion as well.
On Wednesday, the ED sleuths summoned Trinamool Congress MLA and former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya, for questioning next week.
This is the second time that Bhattacharya has received ED summon in this connection. He had already been grilled by the central agency in the matter on August 1.
To recall, Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Avijit Gangopadhyay had ordered the removal of Bhattacharya as WBBPE president while ordering an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the matter. The CBI later roped in the ED in the investigation process, just as it did in the case of WBSSC scam.
While passing the order for CBI enquiry, Gangopdhyay had also ordered for immediate cancellation of the appointment of 269 candidates as primary teachers and observed that these candidates secured jobs despite not qualifying in the written examination, while some of them did not even appear for the same.
He also ordered that the agency sleuths probing the matter cannot be transferred till the time the investigation process is completed.
Incidentally, the CBI had also summoned Bhattacharya earlier in this connection, which the latter ducked.
The West Bengal government tried its best to avoid a central agency probe into the primary teacher recruitment scam, and even approached a division bench of the Calcutta High Court challenging the single-judge bench order on this count.
However, on July 19, the division bench of justices Subrata Talukdar and Lapita Bandopadhyay refused to grant a stay on the order for CBI probe.