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TMC MLA Violates HC Order; Gets Relief From SC Till Wednesday

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By: Joymala Bagchi | KOLKATA
Updated: September 27, 2022 22:23
TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya
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A defiant ruling Trinamool Congress MLA Manik Bhattacharya’s fate hangs in the balance after the Supreme Court of India gave him relief from arrests till Wednesday afternoon in the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) case.

Despite Calcutta high court justice Abhijit Gangapadhyay’s direction to appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today within a stipulated time, the former West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) chairman failed to appear before the agency.

A General Diary has been registered against Bhattacharya at Jadavpur police station.

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Earlier today, the high court ordered that the CBI can take Bhattacharya into its custody if he does not cooperate with the investigation of alleged tempering and destruction of optical mark recognition (OMR). He was summoned to appear before the CBI by 8 pm.

Bhattacharya sought Supreme Court’s intervention on September 23. He appeared before it challenging the Calcutta high court’s order that directed the CBI to probe the matter of his removal as WBBPE chairman.

The matter is scheduled for hearing on Wednesday at 2 pm and till then, the Supreme Court ordered no cohesive action, including arrest by CBI sleuths, against Bhattacharya.

In the TET case, Justice Gangopadhyay had ordered Bhattacharya to appear at the CBI office by 8 pm on Tuesday. The court then also ordered Bhattacharyya to appear before the CBI office by today, within a stipulated time.

On August 26, the central agency served a lookout notice against Bhattacharya regarding his connection to irregularities in primary teachers’ appointments. Soon after, the state police informed that Bhattacharya would no longer be provided security by the state police.

On July 26, Bhattacharya was interrogated at the CGO complex by the central agency.

Calcutta High Court had earlier ordered the removal of Bhattacharya from the post of State Board of Primary Education chairman over allegations of widespread corruption in the recruitment of primary TET.

CBI has so far arrested Shanti Prasad Sinha, the former adviser; Ashok Kumar Saha, the chairman of the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) board and Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the former president of WBBSE in the case.

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