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SSC Recruitment Scam: Justices Harish Tandon & Rabindranath Samanta Recuse From Hearing State's Appeal Against Deployment Of CRPF In SSC Office

Aaratrika Bhaumik
19 May 2022 8:20 AM GMT
SSC Recruitment Scam: Justices Harish Tandon & Rabindranath Samanta Recuse From Hearing States Appeal Against Deployment Of CRPF In SSC Office
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A Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday recused from hearing an appeal preferred by the State government against a Single Bench order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take assistance of central forces to secure the West Bengal School Service Commission (SCC) building in Kolkata over claims of evidence tampering pertaining to the case of alleged illegal recruitments in West Bengal government schools.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had passed the impugned order by conducting a special hearing of the case from 10:40 pm onwards on Wednesday night after the incumbent SSC Chairperson Siddhartha Majumdar resigned from his post, four months after taking charge. Following the news of the Chairperson's resignation, two counsels of the petitioners had met Justice Gangopadhyay on Wednesday night and had apprised him that there existed an apprehension that crucial evidence could be tampered with in the wake of the new SSC chairperson taking charge.

Accordingly, the Judge had ordered for the preservation of CCTV footage and had further observed, "The Secretary of the School Service Commission is directed to produce the CCTV footage before me at 12.30 a.m. tomorrow. The Secretary is to preserve all the digital information and the database if not already destroyed." He had further directed that no one should enter the building till 1 pm on Thursday without the leave of the Court and ensure that the CCTV footage of the office is available by Thursday noon.

Consequently, on Thursday morning, Justice Gangopadhyay modified his earlier order for sealing of the office of the State's School Service Commission till 1pm on Thursday by granting liberty to the Chairman, Advisor to the Chairman, Assistant Secretary and stenographers of the Commission to enter the office without any hinderance caused by the central forces deployed there.

On Thursday, a Division Bench of Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Rabindranath Samanta recused from hearing the appeals filed preferred from Justice Gangopadhyay's order on personal ground.

This is not the first time that the Division Bench has recused from hearing an appeal from Justice Gangopadhyay's order in this matter. Last month, the Division Bench had recused from hearing an appeal from Justice Gangopadhyay's order for a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-D' (non-teaching staff) in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on the purported recommendation by the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC).

Thereafter, the counsel for the State government urgently mentioned the matter before Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava by stating that Justice Gangopadhyay had passed the impugned order for deployment of central forces late in the night on Wednesday without giving any notice to the State government. Accordingly, a prayer was sought for urgently listing the appeal before another Division Bench.

Accordingly, the Chief Justice orally observed that he would consider the prayer by remarking, "Give the mentioning slip, we will consider".

It may be noted that Justice Gangopadhyay on Tuesday had ordered a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of political science teachers for Class X1 and XII in the state-run schools of West Bengal and had further directed minister for education Paresh Chandra Adhikari to appear before the CBI since his daughter, Ankita Adhikari had allegedly been appointed without even figuring in the merit list or appearing for a personality test. The Judge had further opined that it is imperative that steps are taken to 'cleanse the whole situation of polity' and had accordingly recommended that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Governor Jagdeep Dhankar should consider removing the minister from his post.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a Division bench of the High Court upheld orders of Justice Gangopadhyay that had directed the CBI to probe into the alleged irregularities in Group-C posts (non-teaching staff) in State government run schools of the purported recommendation of the State's School Service Commission.

Furthermore, Justice Gangopadhyay on Wednesday had also instructed state Minister Partha Chatterjee to appear before the CBI in connection with the illegal appointments made during his tenure as the Education Minister. The minister had subsequently failed to get relief from a Division Bench on Wednesday due to which Chatterjee was compelled to reach the CBI office at 5:40 pm on Wednesday.

Also Read: SSC Recruitment Scam: Calcutta HC Orders Central Forces Deployment, Preservation Of CCTV Cameras At SSC's Office After Its Chief Steps Down








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