Calcutta HC grants bail to former WBBSE president Kalyanmoy Ganguly

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday granted bail to former West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) president Kalyanmoy Ganguly, accused in a case of illegal appointments of clerks in government-sponsored and -aided schools in the state.

Granting bail to Ganguly, the court observed that there is no chance of abscondence or evasion of the process of law by the petitioner.

A division bench presided by Justice Joymalya Bagchi ordered the release on bail of Ganguly upon furnishing a bond of Rs 50,000, with two sureties of like amount each, one of whom must be local, to the satisfaction of the Special Judge, CBI Court, Alipore.

Imposing conditions, the bench, also comprising Justice Gaurang Kanth, directed Ganguly to appear before the trial court on every date of hearing until further orders and not to intimidate witnesses or tamper with evidence.

The court directed the former WBBSE president that while on bail, he must not enter the jurisdiction of Park Street police station in Kolkata as well as in the Bidhannagar police commissionerate where the offices of the School Service Commission are situated, until further orders.

Directing him to cooperate with the investigating agency, Ganguly was ordered to deposit his passport, if any, before the trial court prior to his release.

Ganguly, who had joined the WBBSE as its administrator in 2012, was later appointed as the president of the said Board and continued in the said position till 2022.

During his tenure, various illegal appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff were allegedly made to different schools in West Bengal.

Praying for bail to Ganguly, who was arrested by the CBI in September, 2022, his lawyer submitted that he is in custody for more than a year.

He further submitted that Ganguly, a septuagenarian, is of frail health and had cooperated during the investigation and had responded to the summons issued upon him till his arrest.

It was stated that two charge sheets have been filed in connection with the case related to alleged illegal appointments of clerks in government-run and -aided schools in West Bengal.

The CBI counsel opposed the bail prayer, claiming that the petitioner is one of the prime conspirators and had close association with the then minister of School Education Partha Chatterjee.

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The initial charge sheet in the case was filed in September 2022 against Ganguly and 15 other accused, including Chatterjee.

A single bench of the high court had in 2021 ordered a CBI investigation into alleged irregular appointment of candidates to the post of clerk through a Regional Level Selection Test (RLST) in 2016.

The CBI probe order was confirmed by a division bench of this court in 2022, following which the central agency registered the present case against Ganguly and others.

It was alleged that Ganguly and others had entered into a conspiracy to issue illegal recommendation/appointment letters to unsuccessful candidates to fill up vacancies in Group C posts in various schools in the state.

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