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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Partha Chatterjee-Arpita Mukherjee’s assets worth Rs 103 cr: ED charge sheet

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday submitted its first charge sheet on the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, in which it mentioned assets worth Rs 103.10 crore held by former state minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee.

The charge sheet was submitted at a special ED court in Kolkata.

ED officials said that the assets include cash amounting to Rs 49.80 crore and gold worth Rs 5.08 crore seized from the two residences of Mukherjee in Kolkata in July.

The remaining amount is in the form of other immovable assets like bank deposits, landed property in the form of land and residences and investment in a number of companies.

The directors of these companies, which the ED officials suspected to be shell companies meant to divert scam proceeds, are also named in the charge sheet.

The first charge sheet filed on the 58th day since the ED started its investigation, has also mentioned about a total of 35 bank accounts having total deposits worth Rs 7.89 crore.

It has named Chatterjee and Mukherjee as the prime accused in the scam.

The total number of pages of the charge sheet is 872.

“The investigation process is yet to be completed and we are sure that further investigation will reveal more such assets accumulated through using the ill-gotten wealth of the scam proceeds,” said an ED official.

Meanwhile, Chatterjee who is currently under CBI custody and facing interrogations, has reportedly told the investigative agency sleuths that as the former state education minister he had no authority over the day-to-day functioning of the WBSSC and had just signed files that were forwarded to him from the Commission.

CBI sources said that during the course of interrogation, Chatterjee had put the entire blame on the WBSSC officials and said that as a minister he signed the documents totally relying on the commission’s officials.

Besides Chatterjee, former president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE), Kalyanmoy Gangopadhyay and former convener of the WBSSC’s screening committee, S.P. Sinha are also in CBI custody.

The two have been interrogated individually and soon the central agency sleuths will start questioning them together to avoid inconsistencies in their statements.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed)

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