Division Bench Of Calcutta HC Stays Single Bench's Order Directing Minister To Appear Before CBI In Teachers' Recruitment Scandal
A division bench of the Calcutta High Court stayed a Single Bench's order that directed West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee to appear before the CBI by 5.30 pm on Tuesday in connection with alleged irregularities in the appointment of assistant teachers in state government-aided schools.
The Division Bench has stayed the order till Wednesday morning.
Chatterjee, who was the state education minister when the alleged appointments were made, was directed by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation at its office in Nizam Palace here. Chatterjee is now the industry, commerce and parliamentary affairs minister of the Mamata Banerjee cabinet.
Taking up a verbal appeal by lawyers representing the state government, a Division Bench comprising Justice Subrata Talukdar and Justice Ananda Kumar Mukherjee stayed the Single Bench's order till Wednesday morning, when it will hear the matter again.
The Division Bench's order means that Chatterjee will not have to appear before the CBI on Tuesday evening as per the Single Bench's direction.
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, earlier in the day, directed Chatterjee to appear before the CBI by 5.30 pm on Tuesday for questioning in connection with a petition that alleged irregularities in appointment of assistant teachers in government-aided schools.
The order came in the petition by an aspirant for the post, Abdul Gani Ansari through his lawyer Firdous Shamim.
The Division Bench said that since the order of the Single Bench had not yet been uploaded on the website of the High Court, the interim stay was being given till Wednesday morning without naming anyone in its order.
On earlier orders of Justice Gangopadhyay, former advisor to West Bengal School Service Commission S P Sinha is facing a CBI probe in connection with alleged irregularities in appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff in government-aided schools in the state.
Justice Gangopadhyay had, in a petition over alleged illegal appointments, directed four of a five-member committee to appear before the CBI in connection with alleged irregularities in the recruitment process.
The panel was constituted by the West Bengal School Education Department in November, 2019 for monitoring pending recruitments of teaching and non-teaching staff in government-aided schools.
The committee was headed by Sinha and the other four members were S Acharya, PK Bandopadhyay, AK Sarkar and T Panja. Justice Gangopadhay had on April 5 directed the CBI to register a case in the matter so that they can take all steps required.
With PTI inputs