Subires Bhattacharya, former chairman of the state School Service Commission and former vice-chancellor of North Bengal University (NBU), was remanded in CBI custody for five days after the central investigating agency told a city court on Saturday that its officers needed to question him further.
Bhattacharya is being probed for his alleged involvement in corruption in the recruitment of teachers and staff in state-aided schools.
He was arrested in September in connection with the alleged illegal appointment of assistant teachers for classes IX and X of government-aided schools by the school service commission when he was its chairman.
The CBI has charged him with cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and under the Prevention of Corruption Act. If the charges are proven, Bhattacharya can be sent to jail for up to seven years.
Earlier this week, Bhattacharya had moved a bail plea before Calcutta High Court.
Moving the petition, lawyers for Bhattacharyya submitted before the high court that their client was falsely implicated in the case. One of the lawyers said his client had cooperated with the CBI all along.
The counsel for the CBI had opposed the plea saying Bhattacharya had played a key role in the recruitments, as part of which crores of rupees had allegedly changed hands.
In the CBI special court on Saturday, the central agency pressed for Bhattacharya’s custody saying he held clues to several leads. “We need to question him further since he holds clues to several leads in this case of alleged corruption. It will help the agency to reach the next level of the investigation into the case,” a lawyer representing the CBI argued before a special CBI court in Alipore.
Bhattacharya’s lawyers contested him saying he was in judicial custody and if needed, the CBI officers could interrogate him in the correctional home. They said Bhattacharya was quite old and wondered if he would have to move from one custody to another during the CBI probe.
Bhattacharya’s lawyers on Saturday did not press for bail, however.
After hearing both sides, the judge remanded Bhattacharya in five days of CBI custody.