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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Teachers’ scam: TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya’s wife, son surrender at court

After being named in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam, the wife and the son of Trinamool Congress legislator and the former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) Manik Bhattacharya surrendered at a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here on Saturday.

Both — his wife Satarupa Bhattacharya and son Souvik Bhattacharya, have been identified by the ED as the co-conspirator in the scam where bank accounts and companies owned by them had been used to route proceeds of a primary teacher’s recruitment scam.

Apart from them, Manik Bhattacharya’s close associate and the president of All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association (ABTTAA), an umbrella organisation of private teachers’ training institutes in West Bengal, Tapas Mondal also surrendered at the special PMLA court.

All three of them appealed for bail plea in the matter, which was strongly objected to by ED’s counsel, who argued that since the bank accounts of both the son and wife were used in routing crime proceeds, they should not be granted bail at any cost.

“As regards Tapas Mondal, he was the man who acted as a linkman to those who were ready to pay money. Without his involvement the scam could not have gained such height,” ED’s counsel argued.

After hearing both sides, the judge of the special court of PMLA said that his court is not prepared to hear the matter at this moment and will hear the matter again on February 7.

However, the same court extended the judicial custody till February 7.

To recall, ED filed its supplementary chargesheet in the teachers’ recruitment scam on December 7, naming Satarupa Bhattacharya, Souvik Bhattacharya and Tapas Mondal besides Manik Bhattacharya.

In the chargesheet, ED sources said that there is a mention of how Manik Bhattacharya kept a particular joint account held by his wife Satarupa Bhattacharya and one individual, Mrityunjoy Chakraborty, even after years of the latter’s demise by using his identity proofs as KYC.

The supplementary chargesheet also mentions the details of the properties and assets in the names of Bhattacharya, his son and his wife.

On hearing that the names of his son and wife have been named in the chargesheet, Manik Bhattacharya virtually broke down in the court.

“Let me die but do not let my wife and son be involved in the matter,” he was heard telling his counsel in the court on that day.

(This article has been published via a syndicated feed)

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