Calcutta HC issues guidelines for media coverage on West Bengal recruitment scam


Guidelines for media coverage of Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other similarly situated suspects in the recruitment scandal were released by the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday. The court ruled that media coverage must be impartial, clearly distinguish news from opinion pieces, and refrain from disparaging defendants in an anonymous manner.

The High Court further ordered the Enforcement Directorate to refrain from providing information about suspects before to the submission of charge sheets as well as information about interrogations and raids to the media.
Abhishek Banerjee has been served summonses by the ED and the CBI, respectively. The alleged scheme involved hiring people illegally to positions as teachers and non-teaching personnel in State-run schools.

Assets worth more than Rs 126 crore have been attached in this case till now.
ED has also arrested former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee, his alleged aide Arpita Mukherjee, TMC MLA and the ex-president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education Manik Bhattacharya, TMC youth wing leaders Kuntal Ghosh and Santanu Banerjee, Ayan Sil in this case where it has filed a total of five charge sheets under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Partha Chatterjee was also suspended by the TMC after his arrest by the ED. In pursuance of a summons, Abhishek Banerjee on September 13 appeared before the ED office in Kolkata in connection with the case. The summons to the TMC MP came weeks after the central probe agency conducted raids in the office of ‘Leaps and Bounds Pvt Ltd’ which the federal agency alleged was “used for making dubious transactions running into crores of rupees.”

The ED claimed that Banerjee is the chief executive officer of the company.
The ED had also questioned Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek Banerjee, on October 11 in connection with the alleged irregularities in recruitments in state-aided schools.
It was the first time that the ED asked Rujira to appear for questioning in the teachers’ recruitment scam case. Earlier, she was interrogated in connection with alleged money laundering related to coal pilferage.