The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday summoned  Trinamool Congress MLA Tapas Saha for questioning in connection with the West Bengal teacher recruitment scam, more than a month after the apex court stayed a Calcutta HC order cancelling the appointment of nearly 24,000 teachers and non-teaching staff in the state.

The Tehatta MLA was issued a summons in connection with the recruitment scam in primary and secondary schools across West Bengal in 2016.  “We have summoned him for questioning in connection with irregularities in recruitment,” a CBI official told the PTI. 

Saha told the PTI that he would appear before the central probe agency. It could not be independently ascertained when the Trinamool legislator is slated to appear before the investigating agency. 

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More than 23 lakh candidates took the test for the 24,000 job vacancies in 2016. A petition before the Calcutta High Court charged that most candidates were given jobs after wrongly evaluating the Optical Mark Recognition sheets.

Earlier last year, the CBI said that Saha would be asked to verify all the information it had gathered from other sources, along with the documents that had been seized from the MLA’s residence and office, The Print reported. The national agency had also seized information from two mobile phones the MLA had.

In August 2023, Firdous Samim, an advocate, had cited several irregularities in the recruitment process of teachers at several stages, and employment of Group C and Group D officials in state- run schools, The Hindu reported.

On April 22, 2024, the Calcutta High Court ordered the termination of all recruitments made in 2016, causing over 24,000 teaching and non-teaching staff to lose their jobs. The West Bengal government then filed a petition against the Calcutta High Court order.

The Supreme Court, which heard the matter, declared on May 7 that scrapping all jobs would be an unwise move. The bench comprising Chief Justice D.Y Chandrachud, noted that valid appointments must be separated from the illegal ones.