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High court orders new CBI officer to take charge of SIT in school probe in 7 days

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay expressed his displeasure over the progress of the investigation

Our Legal Reporter, Our Bureau | Published 17.11.22, 07:19 AM
Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court

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Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of Calcutta High Court on Wednesday appointed a new head for the CBI special investigation team (SIT) set up in June to probe alleged irregularities in school recruitments in West Bengal. 

Justice Gangopadhyay expressed his displeasure over the progress of the investigation and removed two officers from the team and included four other officers.

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The judge ordered that Akhilesh Singh, a deputy inspector-general in the CBI who had been transferred to Delhi from the agency’s Kolkata office, be called back and asked to take charge of the SIT. The CBI has been asked to send Singh back to Kolkata within seven days.

The two officers who have been removed from the probe team are K.C. Risinamol, a deputy superintendent of police, and inspector Imran Ashique.

The officers who have been included in the team are deputy superintendent of police Anshuman Saha and inspectors Pradip Tripathy, Wasim Akram Khan and Biswanath Chakraborty.

The judge made it clear that the two officers who were removed from the SIT would not be allowed to handle any document related to the investigation into the alleged irregularities in recruitments for government-aided schools.

“(Akhilesh) Singh will have to take his new responsibility within seven days and he cannot be transferred from the post without prior approval of the high court,” Justice Gangopadhyay ruled.

The judge had on Tuesday sought the presence of the current head of the SIT. Several CBI officers, including current SIT head Rajiv Mishra, were present in the courtroom on Wednesday when the judge ordered the changes.

Justice Gangopadhyay told the SIT members: “This court had constituted the SIT on June 17. Since then nearly six months have passed. Why has the SIT failed to proceed with the probe?”

The judge went on: “On August 18, this court had ordered the SIT to interrogate 542 candidates who were illegally appointed as Group D staff (in schools). How many candidates have been interrogated till date?” A CBI officer replied: “Sixteen.”

The judge then said that the remaining 526 candidates would have to be interrogated within 30 days from November 17. A CBI officer told the judge that the agency had found a hard disc in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, where alleged data related to school recruitments in Bengal were stored.

The judge said: “I am not at all satisfied with the progress of the investigation. It has become necessary to reconstitute the SIT. The court wanted the investigation to be speeded up. Unnecessary delay will help the persons involved in the racket.”

Last updated on 17.11.22, 11:00 AM
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