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Calcutta High Court orders CBI probe into minister kin job case

Question on an alleged irregularity in the appointment of the daughter of the minister of state for school education

Our Legal Reporter | Published 18.05.22, 07:08 AM
CBI office in New Delhi

CBI office in New Delhi

File picture

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the high court on Tuesday ordered yet another CBI probe against the school service commission (SSC), this time for an alleged irregularity in the appointment of the daughter of the minister of state for school education, Paresh Adhikary.

Petitioner Bobita Burman, who failed to get a job, has alleged that the minister’s daughter, Ankita, had been given appointment though her score in the 2016 Teachers’ Eligibility Test (TET), conducted by the commission, was less than the petitioner’s.

The judge also directed the CBI to interrogate the minister by 8pm on Tuesday and recommended that the chief minister sack him from her council of ministers.

Justice Gangopadhyay’s order came at the last minute of the court’s working day and the state side did not have an opportunity to move an appeal before a higher bench.

A CBI officer said Adhikary did not turn up at the CBI office till Tuesday night. “We have heard he had boarded a train from north Bengal that will reach Kolkata on Wednesday morning.”

Sources close to Adhikari said the minister had boarded the Sealdah-bound Padatik Express at Cooch Behar on Tuesday evening.

The judge also asked the central agency to make Ankita a party to the case along with Bobita, who had allegedly been deprived of a schoolteacher’s job even after securing higher marks than the minister’s daughter.

According to court proceedings, Ankita had scored 61 out of 90 in the written test. She apparently did not appear for the personality test. Bobita, the court was told, scored 77 out of 100, including 10 for the personality test.

“Even if Ankita had appeared for the personality test and obtained the full 10 marks, she could not reach the rank shown on the merit list published by the school service commission,” the judge said.

Justice Gangopadhyay had earlier ordered CBI investigations in cases of alleged illegal recruitment in Group C and D posts in secondary schools and also in the appointment of teachers for Classes IX and X.

The appointments in question were all for government-aided schools.

However, the orders for CBI investigations were later stayed by a division bench of the high court through interim orders and are still under the scanner of a higher bench.

The lawyers appearing for the state said Adhikary was not a minister when his daughter got the teacher’s job.

Adhikary joined the Trimanul Congress from the BJP. He was anointed a minister of state after winning the Assembly elections in May 2021.

Last updated on 18.05.22, 07:09 AM
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