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Supreme Court stays Calcutta HC verdict directing probe against Manik Bhattacharya

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the Calcutta High Court order, which directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to initiate proceedings against Trinamool Congress legislator Manik Bhattacharya in the West Bengal Primary Teacher recruitment scam. 

On July 25, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay of the High Court had said that the CBI and ED would have to find out the ‘mastermind’ of the crime related to the alleged irregularities in the appointment of teachers in primary schools of West Bengal in 2020.

The judge advised the agencies to take Manik Bhattacharya, former president of the state primary education board, in their custody, in order to find the truth.

Bhattacharya had helmed the board when the candidates were being posted in 2020 based on their performance in the TET, held in 2015, and interview.

“It seems Manik Bhattacharya had chalked out the scheme of the scam. But he was merely a stooge. The investigators will have to find out the mastermind,” Justice Gangopadhyay remarked during the hearing.

Bhattacharya, a Trinamul MLA, was arrested in October by the ED in connection with alleged irregularities in recruitment of teachers.

Acting on an order by Justice Gangopadhyay, the court set up a special investigation team within the CBI.

The judge later issued an order giving the CBI the liberty to go to Presidency Correctional Home at 8.30pm to quiz Bhattacharya.

A team from the CBI reached the correctional home around 8.40 pm and met the superintendent to inform him about the high court’s order. The officers then questioned Bhattacharya.

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