WBSSC scam: Former VC Bhattacharya’s judicial custody extended

Kolkata: A vacation court here on Monday extended, to October 19, the judicial custody of the University of North Bengal’s former Vice Chancellor and the West Bengal School Service Commission’s (WBSSC) former Chairman, Subiresh Bhattacharya in connection with the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam.

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The court also allowed CBI sleuths to go to the correctional home and question Bhattacharya in the matter.

On Monday, the CBI counsel told the court that from the investigation and report of CBI, it is clear that the marks secured by many candidates were changed at the WBSSC server following the instructions of Bhattacharya and on the basis of that first recommendation letters were given and then appointment letters were issued to ineligible candidates.

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Describing Bhattacharya as an “active partner” in the entire irregularity, the CBI counsel argued that if granted bail, he might try to tamper with evidence or influence the witnesses.

On the other hand, Bhattacharya’s counsel moved his bail plea on medical grounds, stating that his client is suffering from high blood pressure and high blood sugar. Counsel also argued that his client had a limited role in the recruitment process and hence cannot be deemed to be involved in the related irregularities.

“My client’s digital signature was used without his knowledge. He is also ready to cooperate by all means in the investigation process and his bail prayer might be approved under any condition,” he argued.

After hearing both sides the court rejected the bail application and extended his judicial custody.

The CI sleuths arrested Bhattacharya on September 19. He was the WBSSC Chairman between 2014 and 2018, with Partha Chatterjee as the then state Education Minister, when the teachers’ recruitment scam purportedly took place. On August 24, CBI sleuths conducted raid and search operations at the residences of Bhattacharya at Siliguri as well as in Kolkata. At that point of time, Bhattacharya said that although there might have been some technical mistakes in the appointment process during his tenure as the WBSSC Chairman, there had been no corruption in the process.

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