Bengal SSC Scam: Partha Chatterjee, Aide Arpita Mukherjee Sent To Prison Till August 18

A special court in Kolkata on Friday sent former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee to judicial custody till August 18 in connection with the SSC teacher recruitment scam, ANI reported. They were produced before the court after their two-day ED custody came to an end.

During the hearing, the ED sought 14 days’ judicial remand of Partha Chatterjee and Mukherjee, an actor from whose residences the agency recovered Rs 50 crore in cash, besides jewellery and other valuables.

The agency also sought the court’s permission to interrogate the duo in the correctional home over new revelations in the case, PTI reported.

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Chatterjee, who was sacked as minister and suspended from TMC last week, and Mukherjee have been in ED remand since their arrest on July 23 in the case pertaining to illegal appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff in West Bengal government sponsored and aided schools.

Seeking Chatterjee’s bail, his lawyer submitted that he was an ordinary person now and would not abscond, PTI reported. “He is not an influential person anymore and is also willing to consider giving up his MLAship,” Chatterjee’s lawyer said.

“No one has come out and said that he had asked for bribe, neither in the CBI case nor in ED. Can they show any witness that he has asked for bribe? Partha Chatterjee is not connected with the crime,” his lawyer further said.

Chatterjee’s lawyer also pointed out that nothing was recovered when ED raided the former minister’s house on July 22. “If you try to ask a man who is not involved in the crime, he will obviously be non-cooperative,” ANI quoted him as saying.

The ED had earlier told the court that Chatterjee was not cooperating in the investigation.

The ED has claimed that out of the 15 days that Chatterjee was 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.