Friday, August 12, 2022

ED grills arrested Bengal minister, associate; summons another TMC MLA

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday grilled West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his alleged associate Arpita Mukherjee, arrested in connection with the school jobs scam, sources said.
The agency also issued summons to Manik Bhattacharya, TMC MLA and former president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), for questioning in connection with the scam.
Chatterjee, who was brought back to Kolkata at 6.30 AM after a thorough check-up at AIIMS Bhubaneswar, was straightaway taken to the ED office at CGO complex. He is being questioned.
A special ED court on Monday remanded both Chatterjee and Mukherjee to ED custody till August 3 on a prayer by the agency for questioning them to unearth the alleged money trail involved in the teacher recruitment scam.
While Chatterjee was produced before the special court through the virtual mode as per a Calcutta High Court order, Mukherjee was physically produced before it. The high court had on Sunday directed that Chatterjee be taken to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar, for a medical check-up by specialists of various departments on Monday.
The ED challenged a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (in-charge) court’s order sending Chatterjee to state-run SSKM Hospital after his lawyers claimed he was ill. The agency asserted that the court cannot specify a medical facility.
Doctors at the premier medical establishment in Bhubaneswar said Chatterjee was suffering from chronic diseases, but did not need immediate hospitalisation.
Chatterjee was arrested by the ED on Saturday in connection with its investigation into irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC).
The senior Trinamool Congress leader held the education portfolio when the alleged appointment scam took place.
Meanwhile, ED issued summons to Bhattacharya, a TMC MLA from Nadia district and a former president of WBBSE, asking him to depose before officials of the agency at CGO Complex at noon on Wednesday, sources said.
ED had already conducted search operations on Bhattacharya’s residential premises on July 22.
Congress leader Adhir Chowdhury has urged West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee “to immediately sack” Chatterjee from the state cabinet.
In a letter written to Banerjee, Chowdhury claimed that “irregularities” in the recruitment process by the School Service Commission (SSC) is an “open secret”.

SourcePTI

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