On Wednesday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initiated a series of raids in various locations within West Bengal. The purpose of these CBI operations is to investigate and uncover potential irregularities related to the recruitment processes within the state’s civic bodies.
The CBI aims to address the allegations of misconduct and ensure a fair and transparent system for the selection of candidates. By conducting these raids, The CBI demonstrates its commitment to upholding the principles of justice and accountability in the administration of public affairs.
In a recent series of operations, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted targeted raids on 14 municipalities, including South Dum, Panihati, Kanchrapara, Chinsurah, and Dum Dum. Notably, the investigative agency also extended its search to the offices of the West Bengal Urban Development Department situated in the Salt Lake area, as indicated by the report. The CBI’s actions were aimed at gathering relevant information and evidence pertaining to these municipalities and the Urban Development Department.
The primary investigative agency has initiated legal proceedings against Ayan Sil and his firm, ABS Infozone Pvt Ltd, for purportedly engaging in illicit activities related to the manipulation of scores among candidates. ABS Infozone Pvt Ltd was entrusted with the responsibility of handling the printing and assessment of OMR sheets.
The issue of the cash-for-jobs scam has become a contentious matter between the TMC-led state government and the opposition BJP. Currently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is actively pursuing the criminal investigation related to the scam, while the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is diligently examining the financial transactions to uncover any potential irregularities associated with the recruitment process in schools.
On Monday, Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition in the West Bengal assembly, raised a crucial question regarding the apprehension displayed by the Mamata Banerjee-led party towards the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). His inquiry sought to understand the underlying reasons behind their perceived fear of the CBI.
Saugata Roy, a prominent member of the Trinamool Congress (TMC), responded by dismissing Suvendhu Adhikari’s statements, stating that they do not regard his remarks as significant. Roy confidently asserted that the TMC does not fear the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or any other investigative body. Moreover, he pointed out that Abhishek Banerjee, another influential figure within the TMC, had previously cooperated fully with the Enforcement Directorate when questioned by them.
The TMC leader emphasized that due process of law must be followed to determine the guilt or innocence of Abhishek Banerjee in the case, maintaining the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. They stated that if Abhishek Banerjee is found guilty through a fair and impartial legal process, he should face appropriate legal consequences, in accordance with the law of the land.
The recent arrest of Sujay Krishna Bhadra by the ED in connection with the school recruitment scam has become a significant setback for the Trinamool Congress (TMC). In an unexpected turn of events, Bhadra, who had previously claimed affiliation with Abhishek Banerjee, now finds himself entangled in the legal proceedings. Following an extensive 11-hour interrogation, Bhadra was apprehended on May 30, raising considerable embarrassment for the TMC.
During a press interaction in March, Bhadra expressed, “Abhishek Banerjee is my superior, and I am employed by his organization. Given that Banerjee remains untouchable, investigative agencies are directing their focus towards individuals who are not directly associated with him. Nonetheless, such attempts are futile.”
Bengal School Jobs Scam Unveiled: ED Exposes Bribes for B.Ed College Licenses under Former Education Minister Partha
The supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleges that during Partha Chatterjee’s tenure as the state education minister in West Bengal, corruption occurred in the process of granting licenses to B.Ed and D.El.Ed colleges. This claim raises concerns regarding the integrity of the licensing procedures and highlights potential malpractices within the educational sector.
Chatterjee, alongside the remaining individuals apprehended in connection with the aforementioned case, is currently held in judicial custody.
The recently submitted additional chargesheet presents findings that indicate the participation of Kuntal Ghosh, a former leader of the Trinamool Congress youth wing, in the illicit activities associated with the teachers’ hiring scam. The report reveals his alleged involvement in the issuance of affiliations and no-objection certificates (NOCs) to B.ED and D.El.Ed colleges. This activity is said to have taken place through collusion with Partha Chatterjee and the former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, Manik Bhattacharya, in exchange for monetary compensation.
Kuntal’s consistent communication with Gopal Dalpati, an individual suspected of being involved in the school jobs scam and currently under investigation by the ED, has come to light.
According to the official chargesheet, it states, “Kuntal Ghosh acknowledged that Tapas Kumar Mondal provided him with a sum of Rs 3.25 crore, both in cash and through authorized bank transfers. Additionally, he admitted that certain transactions were directed towards his personal bank account or the bank accounts associated with his acquaintances, such as his brother-in-law Aurobindo Roy Burman.”
He additionally stated that, following a deduction of a commission amounting to Rs 25 lakh, Rs 3 crore out of the total sum of Rs 3.25 crore was transferred to Gopal Dalapati, an intermediary. Subsequently, a portion of the funds was deposited into the bank account of Armaan Trading, an establishment managed by Dalapati. Kuntal alleged that Dalapati had informed him that these funds were intended to be delivered to Partha through his personal secretaries, namely Sukanta Acharya, also known as Acharjee, and Prabir Banerjee, alongside two associates named Partha Sarkar, a councilor within the Kolkata civic body, and Deepak Sarkar.
According to the chargesheet, Kuntal mentioned an incident that took place at Taj Hotel, previously known as Swissotel, in Kolkata. It is stated that in either 2017 or 2018, Kuntal and Dalapati handed over a sum of Rs 45 lakh in cash to Prabir Banerjee.
According to the agency, Kuntal disclosed additional information indicating that he made a payment exceeding Rs. 1.5 crore in cash during 2018 to Deepak Sarkar, who was stationed at the Behala office of the former education minister.
Furthermore, in relation to the teachers’ recruitment scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has specifically identified Manish Jain, the education secretary, along with two former personal secretaries of Partha Chatterjee and Partha Sarkar. This revelation underscores their alleged involvement in the aforementioned scandal.
The chargesheet has unveiled the names of the four individuals involved, marking the first occasion where they have been specifically identified. These individuals include Chatterjee, along with his former personal secretaries, Sukanta Acharya and Prabir Banerjee. This disclosure represents a significant development in the case, shedding light on the previously undisclosed involvement of these individuals.
According to the additional chargesheet, it has been stated that the interview proceedings were carried out with the explicit intention of coercing candidates into providing financial gratification. The complete procedure was conducted under the careful oversight of Partha Chatterjee, the former education minister. In accordance with the provisions outlined in section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the individuals namely Manish Jain, who held the position of principal secretary to the education minister, Sukanta Acharya, Prabir Banerjee, and Kuntal Ghosh, have duly recognized and accepted the aforementioned details as stated.
In response to the inquiry, Manish Jain, the education secretary, addressed the issue by stating, “I am aware, based on information I have gathered from media sources, that an individual whom I am unfamiliar with has mentioned my name. It is essential for me to emphasize that the previous minister never engaged in any discussions regarding such subjects with me, nor did he request me to participate in any illicit activities. Nonetheless, I maintain complete confidence in the competence and integrity of the investigative organizations involved.”
Partha Sarkar has expressed his complete ignorance regarding the allegations made against him. He emphasized his willingness to cooperate fully if summoned by the ED (Enforcement Directorate).
Insolent Abhishek Banerjee Challenges CBI: No Proof of Corruption, No Arrest for CBI
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Abhishek Banerjee, a prominent leader from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), to attend its Kolkata office for questioning in relation to the ongoing investigation into the school jobs scam. In response, Banerjee has made the decision to temporarily suspend his mass outreach campaign and cooperate with the investigation by CBI.
In light of the summons, Banerjee, speaking in Bankura, West Bengal, boldly proclaimed, “Should there be any evidence of corruption implicating me, I challenge the CBI to apprehend me without hesitation.”
According to media reports, Banerjee was extended an invitation through a letter to participate in the investigation conducted at Nizam Palace in Kolkata. The Calcutta High Court had previously ruled against Banerjee’s petition on 19th May, wherein he had sought the court’s reconsideration of an order allowing investigative bodies like the CBI and ED to inquire about his involvement in the teacher recruitment scam.
There is an allegation that the TMC leader, Abhishek Banerjee, was mentioned in a complaint lodged by Kuntal Ghosh, one of the accused individuals involved in the scam. Ghosh asserted that he was coerced by central investigating agencies to implicate Abhishek Banerjee in the recruitment case, thereby creating a cloud of suspicion around the TMC leader.
In a noteworthy development, Kuntal Ghosh, an individual implicated in the scam, lodged a complaint wherein the mention of the TMC leader surfaced. Ghosh asserted that he was being coerced by central investigating agencies to implicate Abhishek Banerjee in relation to the school scam case.
According to a TMC leader, Abhishek Banerjee is scheduled to visit the CBI’s Nizam Palace office at 11 AM. Additionally, he will be participating in a single event in Bankura before heading back to Kolkata.
Abhishek, addressing the reporters following the verdict of the Calcutta High Court, expressed his utmost reverence for the judiciary and the court. He expressed his utmost reverence for the judicial system and conveyed unwavering trust in their decisions. Abhishek further emphasized his unwavering commitment to cooperation with investigators, stating, “I have never hesitated in extending my full cooperation whenever summoned by central agencies in the past.”
Proofread & Published By Naveenika Chauhan