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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Teachers’ scam: Calcutta HC directs CBI to seize all properties of TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya

A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Monday directed the CBI to confiscate all properties in the country and abroad of Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) Manik Bhattacharya, who is serving judicial custody in the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam case.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the Calcutta High Court on Monday afternoon took a strong note of the event of Bhattacharya missing the deadline of paying the penalty of Rs 7,00,000 in two cases related to the teachers’ recruitment scam.

Irked by the missing deadline, Justice Gangopadhyay directed the CBI to confiscate all the properties of Bhattacharya in India or abroad immediately.

The first penalty was imposed in a case filed at the Calcutta High Court by one Mayarani Pal, who appeared in the written examination for teachers’ eligibility (TET) in 2014.

She complained to the court that since the results for 2014 was not declared in time, she was unable to appear for the further tests in 2016 and 2020, after which she surpassed her qualifying age. Since Bhattacharya was then the president of WBBPE, Justice Gangopadhyay held him responsible and imposed a penalty of Rs 2,00,000 on him.

A few days after, another candidate Sahila Parveen approached the Calcutta High Court, where she claimed that she, as a candidate for the 2017 TET examination, asked for a copy of her optical mark recognition (MR) sheet of her written examination under the RTI and also deposited the required fees.

However, WBBPE, with Bhattacharya as its president, did not provide her with a copy of OMR sheet. In that case, Justice Gangopadhyay imposed a penalty of Rs 5,00,000.

Justice Gangopadhyay observed that despite missing the deadline for payment of the penalty amounts, neither Bhattacharya had taken any initiative to pay the same or had informed the court about his inability on this count. Thereafter he directed the CBI to confiscate all his properties.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modifed headline.)

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