Technical issue in first charge-sheet in WBSSC scam keeps CBI worried

Kolkata: A minor technical issue in its first charge-sheet on West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam filed at a court in Kolkata on Friday has kept the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials here a bit worried.

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CBI sources pointed out that of the 16 persons named in the charge-sheet, there are six such names, including that of former education minister, Partha Chatterjee, who were part of the state government machinery at the time of their arrests. As per Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, in case of including the name of any state government functionary, an approval of the state government concerned is required.

A CBI official pointed out that they had given a formal application to the state government almost a fortnight back and since then despite constant reminders, formal consent is yet to come from the state government.

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In case the court raises questions about this particular point, CBI’s source said, the agency’s counsel will highlight the reluctance on part of the state government in giving the formal consent despite repeated reminders from the agency. The idea is to explain to the court that there had been no lapse on part of the central agency in following up the matter with the state government.

According to the counsel of the Calcutta High Court, Jyoti Prakash Khan, once the CBI counsel refers the matter at the court, the judge concerned will refer the matter to the state government asking the latter to give the consent within a reasonable point of time or explain to the court why it is not willing to give the consent regarding inclusion of names in the charge-sheet.

“If the state government is unable to give satisfactory explanation on the reasons of its unwillingness to give the formal consent, then the court might again set a deadline for the consent within a reasonable point of time beyond which it will be deemed that the consent has been given. But this process will not tantamount to declaring the charge-sheet as invalid,” Khan explained.

In the charge-sheet filed on Friday, CBI has identified Partha Chatterjee as the mastermind in the entire recruitment irregularities scam.

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