From cash and gold to deeds, admit cards and diaries – what the ED found in Partha and Arpita’s closets
Bengal school jobs case: Partha Chatterjee and his aide - Arpita Mukherjee - were arrested after raids during which ₹21 crore were seized, according to ED.
Raids by the Enforcement Directorate at the residences of West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his close associate Arpita Mukherjee on Saturday and the long hours of questioning before the duo were arrested have led to skeletons tumbling out of the closet, according to ED officials. The ED had seized ₹21 crore cash, all in ₹500 and ₹2000 denominations, from Mukherjee’s flat, gold worth more than ₹70 lakhs and USD worth more than ₹50 lakhs. But the list doesn’t end here. The agency seized at least 17 items.
“The items seized from Chatterjee’s house include at least 13 deeds some of which were linked to Mukherjee. At least one deed, comprising 44 pages, which dates back to 2012 suggests that the duo knew each other at least for the last ten years,” said an ED official.
The ED had told the Calcutta High Court on Sunday that during the raid at Chatterjee’s house and his interrogation which lasted for 27 hours, ‘sufficient evidence’ was found in support of his involvement in the recruitment scam. ‘Ample evidence’ was also collected which suggests that Arpita Mukherjee was a close aide of Chatterjee.
The other items seized include a hard disk and a mobile phone. The agency also seized bunch of papers relating to appointment and transfer of posts and admit cards of candidates, copy of document relating to revised result of TET 2012, a note from the president of the state primary board, copy of chart relating to proposed teachers’ posting and copy of paper relating to committee of higher authority of state school service commission.
Chatterjee was arrested in connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of hundreds of teachers and non-teaching staff in government schools. While the CBI is already probing into the case on the orders of the Calcutta high court, in June the ED lodged two FIRs to unearth the money trail that was allegedly involved in the multi-crore scam.
On Monday, the ED counsel had told the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Kolkata that while around ₹21 crore has been seized, another ₹100 crore is waiting to be seized. The agency suspect that transactions worth crores of rupees were made for the appointment of teachers recruited through the SSC and Teacher Eligibility Test.
The seizure list shows that while the executive diary had 31 written pages in it, there were at least 40 pages on which something were written in the black diary. In the pocket diary 11 pages were written.