Kolkata, May 17 (IANS) In a major embarrassment for the West Bengal government, especially for the education department, a single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) enquiry into the appointment of political science teachers for Class X1 and XII in the state-run schools of West Bengal.
What is even more embarrassing for the state government was that the single judge bench of Justice Avijit Gangopadhyay has recommended to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor Jagdeep Dhankar to immediately remove the minister for education, Paresh Chandra Adhikari, from his post since his daughter, Ankita Adhikari, was appointed without even figuring in the merit list or appearing for a personality test.
However, Justice Gangoapdhyay has made it clear that this is not a directive but just a recommendation to ensure a free and fair probe into the matter. Justice Gangopadhyay also observed that either Paresh Chandra Adhikari should himself resign from this chair taking moral responsibility or the chief minister and the governor should take the initiative to remove him.
Justice Gangopadhyay directed the CBI to form a special investigation team on Tuesday and start the probe by summoning Paresh Chandra Adhikari to the CBI office in central Kolkata on Tuesday itself by 8 p.m.
Paresh Chandra Adhikari was the acting food minister of West Bengal from 2006 to 2011 during the previous Left Front regime led by the then chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. In August 2018, he joined the Trinamool Congress leaving his earlier party, All India Forward Bloc. He was welcomed into the party by the then state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee. Within 72 hours of his joining the Trinamool Congress, his daughter's name figured in the merit list. After the 2021 West Bengal assembly election, he was made the minister of state for education.
Till the report was filed, there was no reaction from Adhikari on this matter. However, the Trinamool Congress state general secretary and party spokesman Kunal Ghosh said that although he would not like to make any comments on the merits of the verdict, he feels that it is better for the court to leave it to the chief minister on who will continue as a minister and who will be removed.
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