Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee Appears Before CBI for 2nd Time in Illegal School Appointments Case


West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee Wednesday appeared before the CBI here for interrogation in connection with its probe into the alleged irregularities of appointments in government-run and aided schools by West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC).

Chatterjee, who was the education minister when the alleged illegal appointments were made, on Wednesday will be asked the same questions for which his answers did not match with those by the members of the advisory panel in connection with the scam, a CBI officer told PTI.

The members of the advisory panel, which was constituted by the West Bengal School Education Department in November, 2019 for monitoring pending recruitments of teaching and non-teaching staff in the schools, were questioned by CBI sleuths earlier. The minister will also be asked questions about the appointment of the daughter of the Minister of State for Education Paresh Adhikari as a primary school teacher, the officer said.

“We had asked Chatterjee questions on Wednesday last week when he appeared before us but his answers did not match with those of the members of the advisory panel. That is why we will ask him the same questions. He will also be asked questions related to Paresh Adhikari’s daughter’s appointment as a teacher in a government aided school. We are trying to find out Chatterjee’s links to all these,” the CBI officer said.

This was the second time that Chatterjee, who is also the secretary general of Trinamool Congress, is being questioned by the central investigating agency in connection with the scam, which has snowballed into a major controversy in the state.

He had appeared before the CBI on May 18 for questioning in the scam after a division bench of the Calcutta High Court he had approached upheld the orders of a single bench that directed CBI to inquire into the alleged illegal appointments by the WBSSC. He was questioned for three and half hours on his first appearance.

The CBI is also looking into the alleged anomalies in recruitments in Group C posts in government-aided schools through the West Bengal School Service Commission, an official said on Sunday. Chatterjee, who is presently the minister for industries and commerce, was directed to present himself before CBI on Wednesday last week by Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of Calcutta High Court. He had also directed all five members of the advisory committee to appear before the CBI.

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