The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in its first charge sheet in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) scam, has pinpointed former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee as the principal mastermind behind the conspiracy.
According to CBI sources, the first step in the controversy was to identify those to be illegally recruited for monetary consideration, as well as identify those eligible candidates whose names would be chucked out of the merit list to accommodate the ineligible ones.
The second step of controversy was on how to change the marks, or rather increase the marks, of the ineligible candidates in the commission's server to accommodate them in the merit list. "Our officials recovered the original optical mark recognition sheets of many of these ineligible candidates and noticed that the marks mentioned were on an average lesser than the 50 to 53 marks mentioned in the commission's server. All these aspects of conspiracy have been mentioned in the charge sheet," a CBI official said.
At the same time, there was a chain of people who were assigned the task of collecting the proceeds of the scam, and individual people were given responsibilities for individual districts for making this collection. The investigating agency has mentioned that not only was Partha Chatterjee aware of this entire conspiracy, but in most cases, the scam was conducted under his direct instructions.
Incidentally, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is conducting a parallel probe into the matter, filed its first charge sheet on the matter on September 19. The only common name that figured in the first chargesheets of both the CBI and ED is that of Partha Chatterjee.
The basic difference in the contents of the two chargesheets is that while the CBI chargesheets give details on the modus operandi of how the scam was committed, the chargesheet of ED gives details of the money trail in the entire scam. "Partha Chatterjee is a common link in the contents of both the charge sheets," a CBI official said.
The CBI sleuths give much of the credit for their progress in investigation to a section of honest WBSSC insiders who have silently supplied the agency sleuths with crucial information and documents related to the scam, even at the risk of facing vengeance from their higher authorities. "They played the role of true whistle-blowers," the official said.
Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee are currently in judicial custody and they will have to spend the entire month behind bars till October 31, 2022.