“He must open up. These people are putting the state government in trouble. There was huge corruption in the SSC office,” Justice Gangopadhyay said on Thursday, after the CBI submitted that Bhattacharyya, now in jail, wasn’t being responsive.
“I had appealed to him through you to open up. He didn’t. You make a plea to the court to take him in custody. I will then pass an order to question him outside the state. Facts won’t come out if you don’t take him in custody,” the judge added.
The observations came after the SSC counsel submitted a list of 183 illegally appointed teachers in state-run schools. Justice Gangopadhyay directed the commission to publish the list on its website, which it did later in the day. The judge also told the SSC to get in touch with district inspectors of schools within three days and collect the names of the institutes where they were working.
“Act without fear. Many field rats will come out,” he told the SSC counsel, directing that an action-taken report be submitted by December 14.
Justice Gangopadhyay asked the CBI counsel under what circumstances the agency could take an accused to Delhi, Assam or Bhubaneswar. He pointed out that then Kolkata police commissioner Rajiv Kumar was interrogated in Shillong in the Saradha case on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The HC judge had a similar prescription for former WBBPE chairman Manik Bhattacharya. On hearing that Bhattacharya had protection from the Supreme Court, he said: “Move court seeking cancellation of the protective shield. Or should I have to reconstitute the SIT?”
The CBI also said it had questioned 330 of the 542 illegally recruited Group D employees. The court told the agency to meet the SSC and petitioner Setabuddin on December 3, as well as examine the hard disc and OMR sheets seized from Ghaziabad, and file a comprehensive report.