[SSC Recruitment Scam] Top Court stays order imposing INR 25 lakhs fine on TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee

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"If there is an investigation, why can't you cooperate? What is troubling you? The court has merely ordered a probe, and no one is above an investigation. Let me know what is troubling you? What is the difficulty?" the high court had asked Abhishek’s lawyer Advocate Sabyasachi Banerjee. 

The Supreme Court has stayed the order passed by a single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court imposing a Rs 25 lakh fine on Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee for wasting the court's time by challenging the High Court's previous order passed in the teacher’s recruitment scam case, which allowed CBI and ED to question him.

Recently, a single judge bench of Justice Amrita Sinha had imposed said fine on Banerjee while hearing a challenge to the previous order passed by Justice Gangopadhyay.

On Monday, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had mentioned the case before Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Karol, seeking restraint on CBI to question Banerjee.

"He's campaigning outside the state. Also the costs imposed against him, we're appealing against that too", the vacation bench was told on Monday.

Today, Justice JK Maheshwari asked Singhvi when the matter was taken up, "I have seen every document. After this court's order, the CJ changed the bench. High Court has said that it cannot interfere in investigation, how far is that wrong? Tell us."

Singhvi went on to tell court that the approach of the single judge bench was wrong and it should have looked at prior facts too.

"We will post this after vacation to be heard.. in the meanwhile, the imposition of cost that has been made, that we can stay.. we wont say anything more", the bench also comprising Justice Narasimha said while issuing notice.

The issue concerned alleged irregularities in the appointment of 'Group-D' staff in sponsored Secondary and Higher Secondary schools under the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on the purported recommendation by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission (WBSSC).

On April 13, Calcutta High Court directed the West Bengal Police not to lodge any FIR against CBI and Enforcement Directorate officers who are investigating the scam.

Fourt days later, on April 17 the Supreme Court stayed the earlier order passed on April 13, order directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to question Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the ongoing probe concerning the infamous "bribes for jobs" scam.

The top court on April 28 directed the Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to reassign the matter concerning the Primary Teachers' Recruitment Scam in West Bengal to another judge. Later on, the matter was reassigned to Justice Amrita Sinha.

Case Title:  Abhishek Banerjee vs Soumen Nandy