Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of Calcutta High Court on Thursday ordered the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to jointly investigate why “confidential work” of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education related to the recruitment of teachers was outsourced to a private company in 2020.
Around 16,000 teachers who were recruited in government-aided primary schools then had written the Teachers Eligibility Test (TET), held in 2015 following a notification the year before.
The judge ordered that the court-appointed special investigation team (SIT) of the CBI, which was set up in June last year, would conduct the inquiry and the ED would join the probe.
On June 15, he had ordered the formation of an SIT of the CBI led by a joint director of the anti-corruption branch to probe alleged irregularities in recruitment of teachers for primary schools.
A lawyer not connected with the case said the confidential work meant allotment of marks for Madhyamik, higher secondary and extracurricular activities, based on which a TET-qualified candidate is recommended for being appointed as teacher.
The company, M/s. S Basu Roy and Co, was also engaged in the preparation of the merit list.
On Thursday, the judge pointed out discrepancies in the allotment of marks.
For example, factoring in the Madhyamik scores, a maximum of 5 marks can be awarded to a TET-qualified candidate.
Similarly, up to 10 marks can be awarded on the basis of the results of the higher secondary exams. Up to 15 marks can be awarded for extracurricular activities.
During the course of the hearing on Thursday, the judge found that a candidate was given 6 marks for Madhyamik, 15 marks for the HS and 20 marks for extracurricular activities.
Earlier, during the hearing of the case related to 2014 TET in June, CBI counsel had raised some questions on the role of the company, insinuating that a former chairman of the board, Manik Bhattacharya, had a preference for the firm. Bhattacharya is in custody in connection with alleged irregularities in school recruitments.
Justice Gangopadhyay then remarked that the CBI should also find out the reason behind engaging the company for the job.
The Telegraph reported on November 30 that the details of marks — uploaded on the board’s website — of those who were appointed as primary school teachers showed that several of them were marked erroneously while factoring in their HS scores.