Fri, 05 Aug 2022 06:15 PM IST
Former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, tainted in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, has been sent to 14-day judicial custody along with his aide Arpita Mukherjee. Both will have to be presented at the same court on August 18.
Chatterjee and Mukherjee have been in ED remand since their arrest on July 23 in connection with the agency's investigation into the alleged money trail involved in illegal appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools.
The ED has claimed that out of the 15 days that Chatterjee has been in its custody, at least two days were wasted owing to his admission to the state-run SSKM hospital in Kolkata.
Chatterjee was sent to AIIMS Bhubaneswar for medical checkup on the order of Calcutta High Court and the doctors there had said he did not require any immediate intervention.
The ED has claimed to have recovered Rs 49.8 crore in cash, a huge quantity of jewellery and gold bars from flats owned by Mukherjee, besides documents of properties and of a company joint held by the two accused.
According to earlier reports, Chatterjee has started denying close association with his aide and purported partner in crime, Arpita Mukherjee. Enforcement Directorate (ED) sources said this has happened since Thursday evening when the central agency sleuths started questioning the two together by placing them face to face.
When the two interrogating ED sleuths asked Chatterjee whether he knew Mukherjee, the former minister said he had seen her at times at a community Durga Puja with which he had been associated for a long time.
After that, Chatterjee clearly said that apart from those occasional meetings, he did not have any close association with her.
When the interrogating ED officials asked him whether he was aware that huge cash had been recovered from Mukherjee's residence, he just said that he was aware of it.
However, he immediately denied any association with the recovered money and also denied having any knowledge about the source and ownership of the cash.