CBI faces court’s wrath for prolonged probe in teacher’s recruitment scam

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths probing the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal on Thursday faced the wrath of a special CBI judge for the slow pace of investigation by the agency in the matter.

“Even the accused have some rights. The investigation agency cannot continue with the investigation for an indefinite period. What is going on is not right,” the judge said at a hearing on bail application by former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee and six others in the matter.

“You wrote in the charge sheet that you need to investigate others for their roles in the scam. But where are they? I have been hearing the matter for the last two months. I understand that this is a massive task. But have you recorded the statements of others?” the judge questioned the investigating officials.

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Giving reasons for the delay, CBI’s counsel said that counsel of the accused persons is accusing of delay in the investigation process without looking at the other side of it. “When the investigation started, the charges were just of illegal recruitment against money. But as the course of investigation progressed it was revealed that the entire conspiracy, starting from how the recruitment process will be manipulated to what would be the next course of action, was pre-planned,” the CBI counsel said.

He also pointed out that till date the investigation agency had been able to dig out how the optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets were tampered with to facilitate irregular recruitment. “In course of investigation, names of many important government functionaries and influential persons. All of them are parts of the bigger conspiracy. The agency’s case diary speaks everything,” the CBI counsel said.

Although the judge of the special court asked CBI to complete the investigation at the earliest, it refused to grant the bail plea for Chatterjee and others. The matter will be heard again on March 2.

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