A special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday rejected the investigation agency’s plea for an extension of custody of the vice-chancellor of the University of North Bengal, Subiresh Bhattacharya, who was arrested in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.
The CBI had requested an extension of Bhattacharya’s detention for another four days. The court also rejected Bhattacharya’s defense counsel’s bail request, instead placing him in pre-trial detention until October 10.
The CBI investigators arrested Bhattacharya, also the former chairman of WBSSC, in connection with the recruitment irregularities. On September 20, the Special Count of the CBI took him into pre-trial detention until September 26.
He was presented in court on Monday and the CBI attorney appealed for an extension of his CBI custody for another four days.
The CBI attorney said that since Bhattacharya was not cooperating with the investigating officials and therefore an extension of his CBI custody is required.
However, Bhattacharya’s counsel said that he has not been questioned once in the past seven days in CBI custody and that he should therefore be released on bail.
The judge told CBI counsel that the latter’s argument that Bhattacharya was not cooperating with central agency investigators does not hold, as he has not been questioned once in the past seven days.
On Monday, the CBI investigating officer in the case informed the court that answer papers from more than 1,000 examiners who appeared for WBSSC’s teacher recruitment exam had been tampered with.
He also told the court that Bhattacharya was fully aware of the tampering with the answer paper.
Earlier, the CBI lawyers and officials faced the judge’s wrath for presenting Bhattacharya to the court much after the scheduled presentation time.
The CBI attorney pleading apologies said the massive traffic jam on the streets of Kolkata was the reason for the delay.
However, the judge was not satisfied with his explanation and said that even the walking distance between the CBI Nizam Palace office and the court cannot justify the delay.
Former Minister of Education of West Bengal, Partha Chatterjee, Former President of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay, Former WBSSC Secretary, Ashok Saha and Former Chairman of WBSSC Screening Committee are already in judicial custody in connection with the scam.
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