Calcutta HC sets final deadline for Chief Secy to submit report in school jobs case (Lead)

Kolkata, April 3 (IANS) The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday gave Chief Secretary B.P. Gopalika a final deadline for submitting a report specifying by when the Trinamool Congress government will accord its approval for the beginning of the trial against state government employees allegedly involved in the multi-crore cash-for-school jobs scam.

The division bench of Justices Joymalya Bagchi and Gaurang Kanth directed the Chief Secretary to submit the report to the court by April 9, failing which he will have to personally appear before the bench.

When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, the bench took offence over the delay on the part of the state government in approving the trial, as it directed the Chief Secretary to be physically present in the court during the extended hearing in the second half of the day.

However, when the matter came up for hearing in the second half, the state government requested the bench to spare the Chief Secretary for the day because of his busy schedule in connection with the upcoming Lok Sabha Sabha polls.

After that, the bench softened its stand and directed Gopalika to submit the report by April 9.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been complaining to the Calcutta High Court over the delay on the state government's part in approving the trial process against the state government employees booked in the school jobs case.

The CBI counsels have also said that despite charge sheets being filed in the case, the trial process could not be started because of the lack of approval from the state government. In the past too, the state government faced the ire of the court over the delay.


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