SSC scam: Partha Chatterjee, Arpita Mukherjee sent to 14-day judicial custody
A special PMLA court in Kolkata on Friday sent former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his associate Arpita Mukherjee to 14-day judicial remand till August 18 in connection with the ED probe into the money trail in the School Service Commission appointments scam. The ED had prayed for 14 days' judicial remand of both.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) special court judge, Jibon Kumar Sadhu, had reserved his order after hearing all the parties in the case. 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 counsel had also prayed for the court's permission to interrogate the two accused in the correctional home over new revelations in the case. Praying for Chatterjee's bail, his lawyer submitted that he was an ordinary person now and will not abscond.
"He is not an influential person anymore and is also willing to consider giving up his MLAship," Chatterjee's lawyer said.
Chatterjee has been relieved of his ministerial duties by chief minister Mamata Banerjee, while Trinamool Congress has removed him from all posts he held in the party. 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 ₹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.
(With inputs from PTI)
Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader KPP Baskar is accused of amassing a wealth of Rs 4.72 crore or 315% more than his known sources of income. A former legislator from Namakkal, Baskar, is seen to be close to former chief minister and AIADMK's interim general secretary Edappadi Palaniswami. He is the seventh AIADMK leader to face DVAC raids since Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) returned to power in May 2021.
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