CBI arrests VC of North Bengal University in teacher recruitment scam

ED files chargesheet in the case; total attachments and seizure stand at ₹103.10 crore

September 20, 2022 04:31 am | Updated 05:08 am IST - Kolkata

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on September 19, 2022 arrested Subires Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor of University of North Bengal and former chairperson of School Service Commision (SSC) in the recruitment scam.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on September 19, 2022 arrested Subires Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor of University of North Bengal and former chairperson of School Service Commision (SSC) in the recruitment scam. | Photo Credit: DEBASISH BHADURI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested Subires Bhattacharyya, Vice Chancellor of University of North Bengal and former chairperson of School Service Commision (SSC) in the recruitment scam. During the day, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a chargesheet before a court in Kolkata in connection with the recruitment scam.

The 172-page chargesheet had named former Minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee, as well as names of several companies allegedly floated by them, as accused in the recruitment scam.

The arrest of Mr. Bhattacharyya comes after his office and residence were searched by the CBI in August this year. On Monday, he was called in for questioning at the CBI office in Kolkata and arrested.

Sources in the CBI said that Mr. Bhattacharyya was not cooperating with the investigation and had played a role in the scam. He is the first Vice Chancellor to be arrested in the scam.

Seizure aplenty

A press statement by the agency said that the ED has provisionally attached properties worth ₹48.22 crore, consisting of 40 immovable properties valued at ₹40.33 crore and 35 bank accounts having a balance of ₹7.89 crore, in the teachers recruitment scam in West Bengal.

The press statement added that cash amounting to ₹49.80 crore, and gold and jewellery valued at more than ₹5.08 crore were seized earlier from two premises during searches conducted on July 22, 27 and 28.

“The attached properties include flats, a farmhouse, prime land in the city of Kolkata and bank balance. The attached properties are found to be beneficially owned by Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee. A number of the attached properties were kept in the name of dummy companies & firms and persons acting as proxy for Partha Chatterjee, “ the press statement by the ED said. With the present attachment, the total attachments and seizure in the case stand at ₹103.10 crore.

High-profile arrests

The CBI had on September 15 arrested former president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, Kalanmoy Ganguly. In August this year, the CBI had arrested Santi Prasad Sinha and Ashok Saha, who were part of a five-member committee supervising recruitment by the School Service commission. The Calcutta High Court, earlier this year on several occasions, had directed CBI to file FIRs against the officials involved in the recruitment relating to Group C and Group D posts and also in appointment of teachers in Class IX and Class X in the State run schools. .

ED had arrested Partha Chatterjee on July 23, along with his aide Arpita Mukherjee. Mr. Mukherjee was the Minister in-charge of the Education Department of West Bengal government, when the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in State-run schools took place. Mr. Chatterjee had earlier remained in the custody of the ED from July 23 to August 5. Recently the CBI got the custody of the former Minister.

During the investigation, Mr. Chatterjee had blamed everything on the officials and said that he only signed the files brought to him. The SSC recruitment scam involves giving jobs as teachers and non-teaching staff in State-run schools for monetary and political considerations.

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