Calcutta HC calls for report on probe in respect of Leaps and Bounds CEO

The Calcutta High Court has directed the Enforcement Directorate to file a report on the progress of its probe with respect to the chief executive officer (CEO) of Leaps and Bounds Private Ltd.

The ED has alleged the firm was used for making dubious transactions, and has already arrested the firm’s chief operating officer Sujay Krishna Bhadra.

Justice Amrita Sinha of the Calcutta High Court directed the ED to file a report with regard to the progress of investigation in respect of the CEO of the company on the next date of hearing.

The lawyer for one of the petitioners submitted before the court that the central agency in a recent press statement said that Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee “is the chief executive officer of M/s Leaps and Bounds Private Ltd and was also a director in the company from April 2012 to January 2014.”

Justice Sinha noted that a report submitted by the ED before the court on Tuesday stated that Bhadra has been arrested, but it does not mention anything about investigation against the CEO.

The matter, in connection with petitions over alleged irregularities in recruitment in municipal bodies and schools, was adjourned till September 14 for taking further note of the proceedings in the case.

Bhadra was arrested in June in connection with the alleged teacher recruitment scam.

When the high court asked what steps the ED has taken to investigate the matter, its counsel Samrat Goswami submitted that a matter is pending before a coordinate bench of this court, where the MP has challenged a summons by the ED.

Judgement in an application before that bench is expected next week, he said, adding, a verbal arrangement was made of no coercive action till then.

Goswami submitted that investigation in the case, however, is underway.

Justice Sinha directed the CBI, also investigating the alleged school jobs scam apart from the ED, to forward a list of candidates who allegedly got appointed without requisite qualification to the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, which would verify it and thereafter take necessary steps.

The CBI lawyer submitted that over Rs 126 crore was recovered in cash and in kind in connection with the scam.

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Holding that persons allegedly involved in the primary teacher recruitment and municipal recruitment scams are more or less the same and proceeds of the alleged crimes are intermingled, the court said that for the purpose of proper probe in respect of the two cases, the investigating teams ideally should consist of the same officers.

Justice Sinha also directed that Sunil Singh Rawat, additional superintendent of police, CBI (ACB), Kolkata, be incorporated in the SIT probing irregularities in primary school recruitments.

The same CBI team will investigate the alleged municipal scam, too, the court said.

Justice Sinha said the investigation will be a court-monitored one and the officers are required to file progress reports as and when directed.

The CBI also filed a progress report before the court.

During the last hearing in the matter, the CBI was directed by the court to file a report on who are the beneficiaries and what is the progress of investigation in the teacher recruitment scam.

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