Municipality Recruitment Scam links to Teacher Recruitment Scam, says Supreme Court and dismisses the West Bengal’s plea against the transfer of probe to CBI

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Today, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court dismissed the state of West Bengal’s plea challenging the order of the Calcutt High Court transferring the West Bengal Municipality Recruitment Scam probe to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation). The matter was presented before a three-judge bench constituting Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, Justice Manoj Misra, and Justice JB Pardiwala. While addressing the matter, the bench remarked that the Municipality Recruitment Scam is linked to the Teacher Recruitment Scam which is under the CBI & ED investigation. During the Court proceedings, a Senior Advocate appearing for the West Bengal state, Kapil Sibal, argued that the HC made a mistake in its decision as there was no material ensuring that the state could not investigate the scam. He further added, “Which other States is this happening in? There is no jurisdiction of ED here. They are here for money laundering, they are calling officers and saying that statements under Section 50 PMLA will be recorded. It is now becoming a roving inquiry…How does the ED come into all of this?”

Further, the Additional Solicitor General appearing for ED, SV Raju, stated that there is a larger conspiracy regarding the two scams as they seemed to be interrelated. He added, “It is not a separate offence as it sought to be depicted. One company was appointed to print OMR sheets for 2 exams. This is all interrelated.” ASG also contended that the witnesses in both scams revealed certain links that are common in between the matters. Arguing further, SA Sibal remarked that the decision of the HC was solely based on the submitted status reports. CJI replied, “The judgment of the single judge in which status report was filed- he relies on that. So how can we say there was absence of material before the HC…It is clear that the municipal recruitment and teachers recruitment scam are linked since the same person had prepared the OMR sheets…This is the status report on which the single judge has relied.” Sibal further argued that the machinery could not be bypassed if allowed to do so then it would set a wrong precedent for other states, “What about the state’s power? Please see the Sampath Lal judgment…This is bypassing the state machinery. If this is allowed then it can happen in every state.” The SC bench dismissed the matter on the grounds that the Teacher Recruitment Scam and the Municipality Recruitment Scam were linked.