The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed a chargesheet against 16 persons, including former Minister Partha Chatterjee, in the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.
Santi Prasad Sinha, advisor at WBSSC; Samarjit Acharya, then programme officer WBSSC; Saumitra Sarkar, chairman of WBSSC; Ashok Kumar Saha, then assistant secretary at WBSSC; and Kalyanmoy Ganguly, then president of Adhoc Committee at West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, have also been named in the chargesheet filed before the special CBI Court, Alipore on Friday.
Mr. Sinha, Mr. Saha, Mr. Ganguly and Mr. Chatterjee are at present in judicial custody.
Candidates named as well
The CBI, which is investigating the matter as per directions of Calcutta High Court, has also named in the chargesheet 10 candidates who were illegally appointed.
The recruitment scam involves giving appointments to candidates for monetary gains, without considering their merit. The naming of candidates who secured jobs using unfair means assumes significance because it comes at a crucial time when the State government is considering if it should cancel the panel of candidates who have secured appointment illegally. It has also stated that it is up to the High Court to decide on the matter.
“The said case was registered on the Orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta. It was alleged that the said accused entered into conspiracy with one another in order to extend undue advantage in the matter of giving appointment to the unqualified candidates to the posts of Group-C staffs at various schools through 3rd RLST (NT), 2016, after expiry of panel,” a press statement by the agency said.
While this is the first chargesheet filed by the CBI in the recruitment scam, the Enforcement Directorate filed a chargesheet on its part on September 19. It was the ED that had arrested Mr. Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee after a huge sum of cash was recovered from Ms. Mukherjee’s residence. The ED in the chargesheet had pointed out that the total attachment/seizure in the case stands at ₹103.10 crore. It named as accused Mr. Chatterjee, Ms. Arpita Mukherjee and several companies allegedly flouted by them.
Meanwhile, despite assurances from the State government, job seekers have continued with their demonstrations even as the city celebrates Durga Puja; some have kept up the struggle for over 50 days. The protesters have been demanding appointments in the State-run schools.