calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: A single-judge bench comprising of Amrita Sinha,* J., directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to investigate into the recruitment process of the teachers who got the service in lieu of cash paid through the agents or otherwise and enquire and identify the said appointed teachers.

In the instant matter, this Court vide order dated 18-05-2023, dismissed TMC leader and MP Abhishek Banerjee’s prayer seeking to recall this Court’s order permitting CBI and ED to interrogate him in connection with the Teacher Recruitment Scam matter and imposed a fine of Rs. 25 Lakh on him. When the impugned order dated 18-05-2023 was challenged before the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court vide order dated 10-07-2023, has not been interfered with the impugned order but the direction for payment of costs have been deleted.

The Trinamool Congress Youth leader, Kuntal Ghosh was sent to ED custody for 14 days in connection with the Teacher’s recruitment Scam and he later filed a complaint alleging torture by the CBI officials and ED to name senior party leaders, including Abhishek Banerjee.

In furtherance of this Court’s order the CBI its report stating that the investigation is still going on and on investigation of the complaint of alleged torture by the CBI officials and ED by the accused Kuntal Ghosh, it can be concluded that same is “false and without any substance.” The ED also filed its report on the same allegations. The report stated that the proceeds of crime amounting to rupees fifteen crore were identified in the name of Kuntal Ghosh, Ayan Sil and Santanu Bandopadhyay, their family members and their companies/firms. The report further stated that the “proceeds of crime to the tune of more than Rs. 350 crore have been generated by various accused persons in the Primary teachers recruitment scam only and the same has been utilized for the personal use and/or siphoned of or invested in movable and immovable properties. The proceeds of crime have also been invested in the Bengali Film Industries.” According to the report, at present the total seizure and attachment in the case stands at Rs. 126.70 crore.

The Court directed the Investigating Officers to investigate from all corners and place on record the details of the beneficiaries of the scam, particularly the teachers who actually got the service in lieu of cash paid through the agents or otherwise. The Court further directed the investigating authorities to inquire and identify the teachers who were appointed in the said recruitment process. The Court also directed the CBI and the ED to provide the Court with details of the Investigating Officers who are investigating the municipal scam case and retain the records of communication made by the Additional Superintendent of Police, CBI, SEB to the Director, Directorate of Local Bodies.

The Court fixed the next date of hearing on 29-08-2023.

[Soumen Nandy v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2029, order dated 14-07-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya,Sr. Adv. Mr. Firdous Samim, Ms. Gopa Biswas, Ms. Payel Shome, Ms. Sampriti Saha, Counsel for the Petitioner;

Mr. Billwadal Bhattacharyya, Ld. DSGI, Mr. Arijit Majumdar, Counsel for the CBI;

Mr. Sirsanya Bandopadhyay, Mr. Arka Kumar Nag, Counsel for the State;

Mr. L.K. Gupta, Mr. Ratul Biswas, Mr. Kaushik Chowdhury, Counsel for the Board;

Mr. Dhiraj Kumar Trivedi, Ld. DSGI, Mr. Samrat Goswami, Counsel for the Enforcement Directorate;

Mr. Santanu Kumar Mitra, Mr. Subhobrata Das, Mr. Amartya Pal, Counsel for the Respondent No. 9.

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