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WB schools’ recruitment scam: SC refuses to interfere with HC order

The Calcutta High Court had allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to probe the multicrore recruitment scam.

WB schools’ recruitment scam: SC refuses to interfere with HC order

File Photo: Supreme Court

In a setback to Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the Calcutta High Court order allowing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to probe him in the multi-crore West Bengal schools’ recruitment scam.

Saving Abhishek Banerjee from paying a fine of Rs. 25 lakhs imposed by the High Court, a bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha said, “We are therefore not inclined to interfere with the Calcutta High Court order since the consequence of doing so would be to stifle the investigation at this stage.”

The court said that the single judge of the Calcutta High Court in its order has said that there is no reason to prevent the investigation being carried out by ED considering the ramifications of the matter.

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Projecting the victimisation that Abhishek Banerjee was facing at the instance of Directorate of Enforcement (ED), senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Banerjee was being repeatedly called for interrogation even when he was in the midst of touring and campaigning in far-off remote areas of West Bengal.

However, this was contested by the Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju who told the court that Singhvi was mixing the details of the case relating to the dimension of the case being investigated by the CBI with that of ED.

ASG Raju said that even if it is assumed that there was some infirmity in the High Court order, that doesn’t mean that the ED cannot investigate. ED has inherent powers to investigate.

While not stalling the investigation by the ED in the alleged money laundering dimension of the case, the top court permitted Banerjee to take recourse to legal remedies available to him in due course.

The court was hearing Abhishek Banerjee’s plea against Calcutta HC allowing CBI/ED to quiz him in the teacher recruitment scam.

The Calcutta High Court had allowed the central agencies to quiz the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee in the recruitment scam in West Bengal schools. Thereafter CBI issued summons against Banerjee.

The CBI had questioned Abhishek Banerjee in May in connection with the scam.

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