A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court today upheld orders of a Single Bench that directed CBI to inquire into alleged illegal appointments given by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education on recommendations by the School Service Commission (SSC).

Immediately after the Division Bench's order, a Single Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed state minister Partha Chatterjee to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation at its office in Calcutta before 6 pm today in connection with the SSC appointments scam.

The judge said he expects Chatterjee to step down as minister in the interest of justice.

Terming irregularities in recommending appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff by SSC as a public scam, the Division Bench, comprising Justice Subrata Talukder and Justice A K Mukherjee, said that the Single Bench of Justice Gangopadhyay was not wrong in ordering a probe into the alleged money trail involved.

The Division Bench said that the orders of the single bench require no intervention.

Holding that a five-member committee to oversee the appointment process for a 2016 panel for recruitment of teachers for classes 9 and 10 and group C and D staff in government-aided schools was illegal, the Single Bench had ordered then state education minister to appear before the CBI.

Chatterjee was the state education minister when the alleged appointments were made. He is now the industry, commerce and parliamentary affairs minister of the Mamata Banerjee cabinet.

Earlier, the minister was directed by Justice Gangopadhyay to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation at its office in Nizam Palace here on April 12, but he got a stay from a Division Bench on the order.

Seven orders were passed by the single bench directing CBI to enquire into the alleged irregularities in the appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Of these, one was in group C, two in group D appointments and four in teachers' recruitment for classes 9 and 10. All these orders had earlier been stayed by the Division Bench on a series of appeals.

Passing judgment on the appeals, the Division Bench accepted recommendations of Justice R K Bag Committee constituted by the court earlier calling for prosecution of the then senior officials connected to the scam.

With PTI inputs