The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR in connection with allegations of irregularities in municipal recruitments in West Bengal. The CBI registered the case on April 24 following the order of the Calcutta High Court to investigate the allegations.
A single judge, consisting of Judge Abhijit Ganguly, approved the order based on the findings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the alleged teacher recruitment scam. The Enforcement Directorate informed the court that it came across the alleged scam in municipal recruitment in West Bengal during its investigation into the money trail in the alleged scam in teacher recruitment. The Supreme Court had ordered the CBI to submit a report on April 28 on the steps taken on the basis of this order.
The CBI has named Ayan Sil as a suspect. Sil was arrested on March 20 by the CBI in connection with the alleged teacher recruitment scam. The ED alleged that the officers, including Ayan Sil, involved in the school job bribery scam case were also allegedly involved in the recruitment of clerks, peons, sweepers and drivers in various municipalities.
The investigative agency requested a separate FIR to investigate the new allegations by a predicate agency. In addition, the ED also cited allegations of irregularities in recruitments in various public bodies in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.
After the ED submitted its status report to the Calcutta High Court, West Bengal Urban Development Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim said, “We welcome every team that comes. We have worked honestly and have nothing to hide.”
The ruling Trinamool Congress opposes investigations by agencies such as the CBI, which allege that these agencies do not function independently and are being used by ruling parties to attack opposition parties. The Trinamool Congress also alleges that these agencies regularly leak details of ongoing investigations. This results in media trials before a court reaches a conclusion of wrongdoing or guilt.
The BJP has claimed that the ruling Trinamool Congress has run a corrupt government and a thorough investigation by a central body is needed.
West Bengal BJP President Sukanta Majumdar said, “Ayan Sil is Bhaipo’s trusted mercenary. The high and powerful within the TMC are beneficiaries of the nefarious acts committed by Sil and his associates. The illegal appointments to municipalities in West Bengal is a huge scam waiting to be unearthed.”
‘Bhaipo’ meaning cousin (son of brother) is a term used by the BJP to refer to TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee. Abhishek Banerjee claims that the BJP does not use his name when making accusations to avoid libel lawsuits.