WB Teachers' Recruitment 'Scam': SC grants time to jailed TMC MLA to file documents

"The senior counsel seeks time to file on records some additional documents. List it after two weeks," the bench said.

Supreme Court of India file photo. (Credit: PTI)Supreme Court of India file photo. (Credit: PTI)

Press Trust of India | April 18, 2024 | 04:07 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday granted time to jailed TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya to bring on record some additional documents in support of his bail plea in a case related to alleged irregularities in recruitment of primary school teachers in West Bengal. A bench comprising justices Bela M Trivedi and Pankaj Mithal considered the submissions of senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Bhattacharya, that he wanted to file certain documents on record.

"He is also not an accused in the main CBI case," the senior advocate said. "The senior counsel seeks time to file on records some additional documents. List it after two weeks," the bench said.

Bhattacharya, a former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 11 last year after night-long questioning.

The Palashipara MLA was arrested for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation. On December 15, 2023, the top court had issued a notice to the ED on Bhattacharya's appeal against a November 16 Calcutta High Court order rejecting his bail application.

"Having regard to the issue relating to which the investigation of the case is being continued, the number of victims... involved, and the accused person being an influential person, whose means, position are beyond question at the State administrative level as also the education department, his release, will have an impact at this stage of the investigation when an outer limit of 31st December 2023 has been fixed by the Hon'ble Division Bench to conclude the investigation, which is being carried on by the ED.

"Having regard to the aforesaid, particularly, with regard to the means, position, the standing of the present petitioner, the gravity of the offence as also the stage of the investigation which is at the final stage, I am of the view that this is not a fit case for the petitioner to be released on bail at this stage," the high court had said in its order.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed Bhattacharya's plea against his arrest by the ED, observing that the agency's action was not illegal. The top court, on February 16, granted bail to Bhattacharya's son Souvik in a money laundering case related to the West Bengal teachers' recruitment "scam".

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