Municipalities’ recruitment case: Calcutta HC expresses ire over ‘slow’ pace of probe

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday expressed ire over the “slow” pace of investigation by central agencies in the multi-crore municipalities’ recruitment case in West Bengal.

As counsel for Enforcement Directorate (ED) presented a progress report on the investigation, Justice Amrita Sinha expressed dissatisfaction over the contents of the report. “The report is not satisfactory. It is not clear what is new in the report. Why is the progress of investigation so slow?” she asked.

In reply, counsel submitted that since Central Bureau of Investigation is the prime investigation agency in the manner, the progress of the ED’s investigation is, to a great extent, dependent on the CBI’s progress. However he assured that the ED officials are keeping a close watch on the progress in the case.

The CBI counsel, on his part, informed the court that the agency needs some more time for filing its progress report on this count.

Finally, Justice Sinha directed both the agencies to submit their respective progress reports to the court on the next date of hearing which is scheduled on June 14.

On Friday, the state government also faced the ire of Justice Sinha for first keeping multiple court options open in the matter and then withdrawing the special leave petition (SLP) filed at the Supreme Court.

The state government, while approaching a division bench of the Calcutta High Court to seek a stay on central agency probe in municipalities recruitment case, also moved the apex court on this count. However, on Friday, the state government has informed the division bench that it is withdrawing the SLP at the apex court.

“First you filed the SLP at the Supreme Court against the order of the single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court. Then you withdrew the SLP. What kind of a move is this? Are you not bearing the cost behind such litigations? Whose money is being spent behind such litigation?” Justice Sinha questioned.


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