Teacher Recruitment Scam: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday arrested West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee after an overnight interrogation in the teacher recruitment scam. At 8 am on Friday, the agency officials started the investigation at the minister’s residence. Partha Chatterjee is currently the state’s commerce and industry minister and holds the post of general secretary in the ruling Trinamool Congress party.
On the same day, ED seized Rs 20 crore in cash from the South Kolkata property of Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of Chatterjee, who was taken into custody by ED this morning. The agency officials seized a large amount of cash and several mobile phones from Mukherjee’s house.
ED is probing recruitment irregularities in West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) and West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE). Chatterjee was the Education Minister of West Bengal when the scam took place. The ED is probing the money laundering aspect of those allegedly involved in the scam.
Party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh issued a statement denying any link between the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led party or the state government with the developments related to the ED action. Ghosh said, “A large sum of money has been seized from the house of the person or his lawyer. This responsibility also rests with the people and their lawyers whose names are appearing in the case. Neither the Trinamool Congress as a party nor the state government has anything to do with the ED cash recovery. The whole matter is closely watched by the party as to why the party’s assimilation campaign is being carried out for no reason. The party leadership will respond in due course.
After his arrest, Chatterjee was taken to the ESI Hospital in Joka for a medical examination and then produced before the Bankshall court, which remanded him to ED custody for two days.
According to ED sources, Chatterjee will be produced again in the court on Monday.
Later, Chatterjee was admitted to SSKM Hospital after complaining of chest pain. “Parth Chatterjee is not feeling well. He has developed heartache. We demanded from the court that if ED’s custody is granted, they should be given proper medical facilities.
The agency probing the money trail aspect of the alleged school recruitment scam being probed by the CBI will make charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.
As soon as he left the hospital, Chatterjee was asked by journalists whether he had tried to contact Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “I tried, but could not succeed,” he said.