A special PMLA court on Monday evening extended West Bengal Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee’s ED custody till August 3 in connection with his alleged involvement in the multi- crore teacher recruitment scam in the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC).
The court also extended the ED custody of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of Chatterjee, till August 3.
Chatterjee’s counsels said that they will study the order of the PMLA court and then decide whether to approach any higher court against the decision.
The PMLA court also ordered that both Chatterjee and Mukherjee will have to be presented at any hospital at an interval of 48 hours during the period up to August 3 for medical check-up.
While arguing in favour of the extension of custody, ED’s counsel, Additional Solicitor General M.V. Raju, claimed that as per ED estimates, the financial involvement in the WBSSC recruitment irregularities was to the tune of Rs 120 crore, out of which only a small proportion has been recovered from Arpita Mukherjee’s residence.
Hence, argued the ED counsel, there is the necessity of extension of custody of Chatterjee and Mukherjee for further interrogation.
Meanwhile, ED sources said that two executive diaries have been recovered from the residence of Mukherjee during the raids at her place. In one of the diaries, it is written, “Department of Education, Government of West Bengal”.
Sources said that both the diaries have a number of coded scribblings and ED sleuths believe that they are related to some statements of accounts regarding collections made from the multi-crore WBSSC recruitment scam.
Meanwhile, while presenting his case at the PMLA court, the ED counsel informed that since his arrest, Chatterjee has been constantly threatening the agency officials.
Raju claimed that the ED sleuths have video-recorded the threats given by Chatterjee, especially when he was taken to the state-run SSKM Medical College & Hospital on Sunday.
Chatterjee, who was taken to AIIMS Bhubaneswar on Monday morning for medical check-up, will be brought to Kolkata on Tuesday.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed.)