Previous West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee were on Friday sent to 14-day judicial custody in relation with an inquiry into the money trail in the School Service Commission (SSC) appointments scam. The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) special court judge, Jibon Kumar Sadhu instructed that both the accused will remain in custody till August 18.
Chatterjee was sent to Presidency detention centre and Mukherjee to Alipore women’s detention centre . The jail supervisor will have to submit an overall safety-security detail about both the accused on August 18. The court has granted permission for the inquiry of both accused in judicial custody in the presence of an investigating officer accompanied by two officers of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The ED had prayed for the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court’s permission to quiz the two accused in the detention centre over new reports in the case.
Partha and Arpita have been in the investigating agency’s custody since their arrest on July 23 in connection with the money trail involved in illegal recruitments of teaching and non-teaching staff in West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools.
Seeking Partha’s bail, his lawyer said in the court that he is an ordinary person now and will not flee. “He is not an important person anymore and is also willing to forgo his MLAship,” Chatterjee’s lawyer said.
Parta has been appeased of his ministerial duties by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. While TMC has eliminated him from all posts he held in the party. The ED has asserted that out of the 15 days that Partha has been in its remand, at least two days were wasted owing to his admission to the state-run SSKM hospital in Kolkata. Partha was sent to AIIMS Bhubaneswar for medical checkup on the instruction of Calcutta High Court and the doctors there had said he did not require any immediate treatment.
The ED has demanded to have recovered Rs 49.8 crore in cash, a huge quantity of jewellery and gold bars from flats possessed by Arpita. Apart documents of properties and of a company partnered by the two accused.
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