Bengal school job case: Calcutta HC asks Bengal CS to submit report by May 2

Kolkata:  The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked the West Bengal Chief Secretary to submit a report by May 2 specifying the time by when the state government will give the necessary approval for beginning the trial against government staff involved in the multi-crore cash-for-school job case.

A division bench of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Gaurang Kanth said that if the Chief Secretary fails to act within that deadline, which is the final one, a “rule of contempt of court” will be issued against them.

When the matter came up for hearing at the division bench, the state government’s counsel reiterated the earlier stand that the Chief Secretary could not ponder over the issue because of his busy schedule amidst the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

Irked over it, Justice Bagchi said, “It is the duty of the court to see whether the investigation and the trial process in the matter are going on smoothly or not. If any hurdle comes in the way, it is the responsibility of the court to remove that.”

He also observed that there is no relation of the Chief Secretary’’ busy election schedule with taking a decision in the matter.

“The Chief Secretary is unnecessarily delaying action. Has he failed to realise the seriousness of the matter? Or will the court assume that the accused persons are so influential that even the Chief Secretary is hesitating to take a decision in the matter?” Justice Bagchi observed.

Earlier, on April 9 also the same division bench had expressed anguish over the delay by the Chief Secretary in granting the required permission in the matter. On that day, too, the state government counsel gave the same excuse of the Chief Secretary’s busy schedule because of the Lok Sabha polls.


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