School jobs scam: ED gets custody of Partha & Arpita till Aug 5, says ex-minister not cooperating

A SPECIAL Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Wednesday extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of former state minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee till August 5, in connection with the School Service Commission recruitment (SSC) scam.

The ED had sought four days of custody for Chatterjee and three days for Mukherjee from whose apartments crores of rupees in cash and other valuables were recovered last month. They are facing charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Hearing the arguments, special PMLA judge Jibon Kumar Sadhu granted three days’ ED custody to both the accused. The court also allowed 15 minutes of consultation by the lawyers of each accused with their clients on one day in the presence of ED officials.

The two accused would be produced before the court again on August 5, he directed. The investigating officer was directed to arrange for the medical examinations of both the suspected persons every 48 hours of their stay in the ED custody.

Appearing for the ED, Additional Solicitor General SV Raju told the court that they found several properties under the joint ownership of Chatterjee and Mukherjee and thus further interrogation of the two is required.

He added that Chatterjee was “not cooperating” with the investigating officers in the case but Mukherjee has been cooperating. The ED had sought four days’ custody of Chatterjee and three days’ custody of Mukherjee. However, the court granted them ED custody till August 5. On July 23, both Chatterjee and Mukherjee were arrested by the ED in connection with its probe into the SSC recruitment scam.

Following his arrest, Chatterjee was removed from all party posts and suspended from the TMC after he was removed from the Mamata Banerjee Cabinet. Following raids, the ED seized around Rs 50 crore in cash, along with jewellery, from two apartments of Mukherjee.

On Wednesday, the ED conducted raids in three houses of both the accused in Santiniketan in Birbhum district.

Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox

Chatterjee was arrested in the SSC scam case on July 23 after crores of rupees in cash, gold believed to be in kilograms and documents of properties were found at the apartments of his aide Mukherjee.

The ASG submitted that a total of Rs 49.80 crore in cash was seized from two flats of Mukherjee.

He further claimed that Chatterjee and Mukherjee were found involved in money laundering as they indulged in a criminal conspiracy for illegally giving jobs for the post of assistant teachers in state-sponsored and aided schools.

The alleged irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC) took place when Chatterjee was the education minister of the state.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.