West Bengal’s minister of state for school education, Paresh Chandra Adhikary, was questioned by the CBI for 10 hours on Friday in connection with the investigation into allegedly illegal recruitments in government-aided schools.
Adhikary was questioned by officials of the central investigating agency on Thursday as well.
Friday’s session started at 10.30am and continued till 8.30 in the evening.
Adhikary has been asked to again report to the CBI office at 11am on Saturday, CBI sources said.
The agency parallelly questioned members of the five-person committee that was constituted by the school education department in November 2019 to monitor recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government-aided schools. The committee no longer exists.
S.P. Sinha, who was chairman of the committee, was summoned twice to the Nizam Palace office of the CBI on Friday. Sinha, who left the CBI office alone in the afternoon, returned later in the evening.
Sinha and three others who were members of the committee were present at Nizam Palace when the minister was being questioned. Sinha and the other three were earlier questioned by the CBI following court orders related to the ongoing probe into the alleged irregularities.
Sources close to Adhikary said he was asked about his daughter’s recruitment as an assistant teacher through the School Service Commission despite her name not appearing on the first waiting list.
Following a court order, the CBI had drawn an FIR against him, his daughter and unknown officials of the School Service Commission.
The minister of state has been charged with cheating, criminal conspiracy and corruption.
“We are trying to get information about how appointments were made through the SSC, what were the criteria, who used to prepare the merit list and how the minister’s daughter’s name appeared at the top of the waiting list when there were other candidates who had scored more than her,” a CBI officer said.
Adhikary, who was first ordered by the high court to appear before the CBI on Tuesday and then on Wednesday, had flouted the court orders twice before finally presenting himself before the agency on Thursday evening. But by then the FIR had been lodged against him and his daughter.