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CBI quizzes West Bengal education secretary in SSC recruitment scam

Officers who were part of the probe say the agency was trying to find out Jain’s role in setting up an advisory committee for selection of candidates

Our Bureau | Published 15.07.22, 06:22 AM
Manish Jain

Manish Jain

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The CBI, which is probing allegations of irregularities in recruitment of teachers and other staff by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), questioned Manish Jain, secretary of the school education department, for close to four hours on Thursday in connection with the case.

Officers who were part of the probe said they were trying to find out Jain’s role, if any, in setting up an advisory committee for selection of candidates and whether he had objected to the setting up of such a panel.

Calcutta High Court has called the committee illegal.

Senior officials in the central agency said they wanted to cross-check some of the information they had obtained while questioning other people in connection with the alleged irregularities.

Former education minister Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Adhikary, now minister of state for education, are among those who have been questioned. Adhikary’s daughter has lost her job as school teacher because the court ruled she had got it illegally.

Insiders said the CBI team that questioned Jain was armed with statements they had recorded while quizzing Shanti Prasad Sinha, former chief advisor of the SSC, and several others.

Jain arrived at the CBI’s office in Nizam Palace in the afternoon and was taken to the office of the anti-corruption branch.

Sources said the interrogating team wanted to know what had prompted the then education minister to set up the advisory committee.

A CBI officer said they asked Jain if he had ever recorded his views against setting up such a committee.

On Thursday, the high court asked the CBI to file a status report of its investigation into the case related to illegal appointment of Class IX and X teachers in government-aided secondary schools.

The division bench headed by Justice Subrata Talukdar issued the order while hearing an appeal moved by those who allegedly got appointments on the basis of fake recommendation letters and lost their jobs following an order by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.

Last updated on 15.07.22, 06:22 AM
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