Division Bench Of Calcutta HC Stays Single Judge's Order For CBI Enquiry Into Appointments By State To Aided Schools
A Division Bench of Justices Harish Tandon and Justice Rabindranath Samanta of the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday stayed the order of the Single Judge for CBI enquiry into alleged irregularities in appointments of Group-D workers in aided and sponsored schools by the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE).
The Bench directed the WBBSE and the State's School Service Commission to submit in sealed covers, documents related to the appointments to the Registrar General of the High Court by the end of court hours.
The Division Bench stayed the order for three weeks on an appeal by the West Bengal government.
Appearing for the State, Advocate General S N Mookherjee submitted that a CBI enquiry can be ordered only in extremely rare cases, and where there is an allegation against the State Police of failing to hold a fair investigation.
He argued there is no allegation against the State Police since the Police has not yet initiated any probe into the matter.
Mookherjee also submitted during the hearing that, before the Single Bench, the State's lawyer had proposed setting up of a probe by a retired judge or judges of the High Court.
Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had ordered the CBI to hold an enquiry into alleged irregularities during appointment of Group-D staff in aided and sponsored schools under WBBSE on purported recommendations by the State's School Service Commission (SSC).
The Single Bench had stated the enquiry would also find out if any money trail was involved.
The WBBSE had claimed before the Court that all the appointments were made on the basis of recommendations by the SSC.
The Commission, however, submitted an affidavit stating that after May 4, 2019, when the panel of Group D staff had expired, no recommendation was issued by any of its regions.
The Single Bench had directed the CBI Director to constitute a committee, headed by an officer, not below the rank of a Joint Director, to initiate the enquiry.
"Without showing any disrespect to the police force of this state, I am passing this order giving the responsibility to the CBI only for the reason that both the authorities, the commission and the board, as also the police authority are controlled by the state," Justice Gangopadhyay said in his order.
He had also directed the CBI to file a preliminary report before it on December 21, following which further orders were to be passed.
Some job aspirants had filed a petition before the Court claiming that appointments were given to persons after the expiry of the panel of Group-D staff in aided and sponsored schools, and had produced a list of such appointees before the Court.
The matter will come up for hearing again on Monday.
With PTI inputs