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On April 21st, the single bench judge, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had ordered a CBI probe into the Municipality Recruitment scam, which was allegedly uncovered by the Enforcement Directorate while investigating the SSC teachers' recruitment scam
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay a single bench order of the Calcutta High Court directing the (CBI) Central Bureau of Investigation to investigate the matter relating to the scam of municipality recruitments in the State of West Bengal.
A bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha however stated that status quo will be maintained in the ongoing CBI & ED investigations for a period of one week since the date of passing the order, considering that the petitioner will approach the high court instead, to appeal against the April 21st order.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal appeared for the state of West Bengal and informed court that notice was never served to the state and the CBI registered an FIR the next day after passing of order by high court.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju however informed court that the state was in fact aware of the proceedings. He then informed court that the scam involved crores of rupees and investigations are ongoing which should not be curtailed.
The bench proceeded to ask the high court which will be expected to entertain the appeal against the single judge order to expeditiously decide the case, after Sibal told Court that the state will be filing an appeal in the course of the next one week.
"We accordingly permit the petitioner to move a petition by way of review before the High Court. The High Court shall, after hearing the parties, take a considered view in the matter. Mr Kapil Sibal states that the High Court would be moved by way of a review within three working days. We request the High Court to dispose of the review petition within a week from the date of its filing," the bench said
In this case, an application was filed by the ED with a specific pleading that while investigating the teachers’ appointment scam, it came across the Municipality Recruitment Scam in the State which got intermingled on account of common agents and common beneficiaries. It was further prayed that a separate FIR for investigation of Municipality Recruitment Scam under the relevant provisions of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act by the predicate agency (meaning thereby CBI) would be required.
The Court of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had observed that the CBI will file a report regarding the steps that will be taken by them after the order is passed.
Court said, “I direct the Director General of Police of this state and the Chief Secretary of this State to instruct all Departments concerned under them to help and assist the CBI and ED in their functioning while investigating the scam if so requested by CBI and by ED."
Case Title: State of West Bengal Vs. Soumen Nandy & Ors.
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