The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday directed Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to interrogate West Bengal Minister of State for Education Paresh Chandra Adhikari over the appointment of his daughter as a teacher in a state-run school. Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay directed that the Minister should appear before the CBI authorities by Tuesday evening for interrogation over the allegations.
A petitioner had approached the Court alleging that she was deprived from the job while the daughter of the minister got the job. The petitioner’s lawyer Firdous Shamim claimed that his client’s rank was 20 but suddenly it became 21 in the merit list. “Today it has become clear my client had secured 77 marks in the recruitment examination, while the minister’s daughter got only 61,” the lawyer said. Babita Sarkar, the petitioner, said that just before the counseling, her rank had slipped from 20 to 21 and the name of the minister’s daughter, who was not in the earlier list, was included in the merit list.
The Court also urged the State’s Governor and Chief Minister to take action against the minister and remove Mr. Adhikari from Council of Ministers.
A controversy had erupted in 2018 when the daughter of Paresh Chandra Adhikari made it to the merit list of an examination conducted by West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC). Paresh Chandra Adhikari was associated with All India Forward Bloc and was the Food Minister in the Left Front government before he joined the Trinamool Congress in 2018. The appointment of the minister’s daughter came months after he joined the State’s ruling party.
Over the past few months, Justice Gangopadhyay had directed a CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff by the West Bengal School Service Commission.
Earlier this month, the committee headed by a former High Court Judge submitted a report to the court stating that 381 Group C post appointments in state government/aided schools were illegal. The committee headed by (ret’d) Justice R. K. Bag recommended criminal proceedings against five persons including officials of state School Service Commission and West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.