A division bench of the Calcutta High Court granted a four-week breather to state Minister Partha Chatterjee from appearing before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which is probing the recruitment irregularities scam in West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC).
Chatterjee was the education minister when the irregularities took place and currently is the state commerce and industries minister.
On Tuesday around 3.50 p.m., Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay ordered Chatterjee, also the Trinamool Congress secretary general, to be present at the CBI office in Kolkata by 5.30 p.m. However, around half-an- hour later, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court put an interim stay on that order till 10.30 a.m. next day.
On Wednesday morning, the division bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar and Justice Ananda Mukhopadhyay granted the four-week breather to Chatterjee.
The single-judge bench’s order on Tuesday had two points — the first was that he would not be able to get himself admitted to the state-run SSKM Medical College & its Woodburn Ward, which is meant for the VVIPs before facing the CBI interrogation, and the second point was that the CBI could arrest Chatterjee if necessary for the sake of investigation.
On Wednesday, the division bench of Justice Subrata Talukdar and Justice Ananda Mukhopadhyay also refused to accept the resignation of retired Justice Ranjit Kumar Bag as the head of the court-appointed probe panel investigating the different WBSSC recruitment scams. The division bench ordered Justice Bag headed probe panel to submit a report on the irregularities relating to recruitment in the Group-D non-teaching staff.
Earlier in the day, there were clashes between two groups of lawyers — one group aligned to the ruling Trinamool Congress and the other with the Left Front — regarding the entry to the court of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who had ordered the CBI grilling for Partha Chatterjee. The Trinamool Congress-aligned lawyers wanted a total boycott of Justice Gangopadhyay’s court, which was opposed by the other group. Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court Justice Prakash Srivastava advised both groups to mutually settle the issue.
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