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Calcutta HC directs CBI probe in tampering of OMR sheets in TET examination

Former Primary Education Board president told to appear before CBI

September 27, 2022 10:54 pm | Updated 10:54 pm IST - Kolkata

Calcutta High Court. File

Calcutta High Court. File

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate allegations that OMR answer sheets of candidates who appeared for the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) in 2014 were tampered and destroyed. The allegations have come to fore over the past few days.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay also directed former West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) president Manik Bhattacharya to appear before the CBI by 8 p.m. on Tuesday. The court said in case Mr. Bhattacharya fails to appear before the CBI, the agency can take him into custody for interrogation. However, Mr. Bhattacharya approached the Supreme Court which gave him a reprieve for a day.

Also Read | No let-up in protests against West Bengal recruitment scam amid Durga Puja festivities

Around 20 lakh candidates appeared for the TET in 2014, following which recruitment of primary school teachers was done in 2016 and 2020. Mr. Bhattacharya, a Trinamool Congress MLA, was the president of WBBPE during the period.

In June this year, the High Court had suggested the removal of Mr. Bhattacharya from the post. He had been questioned by the CBI in connection with the School Service Commission recruitment scam as well, in which former Minister Partha Chatterjee and four other officials including a sitting Vice-Chancellor were arrested.

Over the past one year, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had directed CBI probes in 10 other instances where alleged irregularities in the recruitment process had come to fore. 

During the day, State’s Education Minister Bratya Basu said the State government was willing to start the recruitment process for teachers and non-teaching staff in State-run schools as per the directions of the High Court. The Minister said that the government, in an affidavit before the court, has stated that it has two options - to give jobs to all candidates on the basis of vacant posts or cancel the appointments where irregularities have surfaced and start recruitment afresh. The Minister said the State is waiting for directions from the court.

He added that irregularities have come to light in recruitment of 957 candidates for Group C and Group D posts while in case of appointment of teachers, the number is 222.

The High Court had last week asked the CBI to separate all illegal appointments from those made legally. Meanwhile, aspirants for teaching and non-teaching posts continued their protests. The State government has urged the job seekers to withdraw their protests in view of the puja season. 

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