The high court on Monday directed the CBI to make a security guard of Partha Chatterjee and the guard’s relatives “party” to the SSC case after the petitioners alleged that the relatives had got illegal appointments in schools.
In the court of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, the counsel appearing for petitioners, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya, brought up the name of Biswambhar Mandal, part of the personal security of the former education minister.
“We have definitive information that Mandal, personal security guard of Partha Chatterjee, had helped 10 of his relatives get jobs in schools illegally,” Bhattacharyya said.
He did not specify the nature of the jobs.
The allegations pertain to the recruitment of Group C and D staff and teachers by the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) and in the appointment of teachers in state-run primary schools.
Chatterjee, former education minister who is now the commerce and industries minister, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the same case on Saturday. The ED is probing the money trail in the alleged scam.
On Monday, Justice Gangopadhyay directed Mandal and his relatives to file affidavits responding to the allegation. “Make them party to the case,” he said.
The relatives were ordered to be present in the court during the next hearing on August 17.
Calcutta High Court on Monday ordered the principal secretary of the state secondary education board to file an affidavit on the details of vacancies in the post of teachers in schools.
Justice Gangopadhyay, hearing the SSC case, referred to a “news item” that came to his notice, about a “political personality recently saying that the government could not recruit teachers in vacant posts because of a court order”.
The judge decided to initiate a suo-motu proceeding after noticing the news. He sought to know which court order was “preventing the state from recruiting teachers in 17,000 vacant posts”.
The affidavit has to be filed by Wednesday, the judge said. The case will be heard on July 29, he said.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has in the recent past talked about teacher recruitments being stalled because of court cases. “We have 17,000 posts for teachers ready. But the appointments have been stalled because of an ongoing court case. The department is ready to fill up the vacant posts but cannot because of the court case,” Mamata said during her speech from the Martyrs’ Day dais on July 21.
On June 28, Mamata’s speech at a rally in Asansol was interrupted by job seekers protesting the alleged irregularities in the recruitment process.
“I am ready to give 17,000 fresh jobs but the recruitment is stalled by the court and I am bound to obey it. You ask the CPM and BJP leaders who are behind the stalemate,” Mamata had said.