School Jobs case: Calcutta HC seeks CBI’s stand on Initiation of Trial against state Govt Employees

 The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the CBI to submit a report to the court on May 7 explaining the agency’s stand on who is the competent authority to grant necessary approval for initiating the trial against the state government officials accused in the multi-crore cash-for-school jobs case in West Bengal.

A division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Gaurang Kanth passed the direction after the counsels of two accused former state government officials, both under judicial custody, contended that Governor C.V. Ananda Bose, and not Chief Secretary B.P. Gopalika, is the competent authority to approve the initiation of trial against them.

The same bench on Thursday questioned the ‘real intentions’ of the Chief Secretary for the delay in granting the necessary approval for the initiation of the trial process.

On Friday, the counsels for the former President of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), Kalyanmoy Ganguly, and the ex-Chairman of West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC), Subiresh Bhattacharya, questioned the administrative authority of the Chief Secretary in approving the initiation of trial.

The counsels also argued that since both their clients were appointed by the Governor, the approval for initiating the trial should also come from the latter.

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After hearing the arguments, the bench directed Additional Solicitor General Dhiraj Trivedi to ask the CBI to submit a report to the bench on May 7, clarifying the central agency’s stand in this matter.

The bench also observed that if the arguments of the counsels of Gangopadhyay and Bhattacharya hold true, the Chief Secretary’s approval won’t be needed as the trial could be initiated with the Governor’s nod.

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