The Enforcement Directorate on Saturday, July 23, 2022 arrested West Bengal Industries and Commerce Minister and senior Trinamool Congress leader, Partha Chatterjee in connection with irregularities recruitment by West Bengal School Service Commission. Mr. Chattterjee was the Minister of State Education Department when the alleged irregularities occurred.
On Saturday morning ED officials arrested Mr. Chatterjee from his residence in south Kolkata after almost 24 hours of questioning. After the arrest the officials drove the Minister from his Naktala residence to a hospital in Joka for medical tests. Mr. Chattterjee is also the secretary-general of Trinamool Congress and holds the portfolio of Parliament Affairs Department.
On Friday, the agency has seized cash worth ₹20 crore from the residence of the Minister’s associates Arpita Mukherjee. The ED had conducted searches at several places in West Bengal in connection with alleged irregularities on Friday.
Cash seized by the ED from the premises of an aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee after the agency conducted searches on July 22, 2022.
| Photo Credit: PTI
“During the course of searches, the ED has recovered huge cash amounting to approximately ₹20 crores from the residential premises of Arpita Mukherjee, who is close associate of Shri Partha Chatterjee. The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of said SSC (School Service Commission) Scam,” a statement by ED said on Friday.
CBI probe after court directive
Recently, Calcutta High Court while hearing a number of writ petitions had recently directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to carry out investigations into the recruitment scam of Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ staff, Assistant Teachers of classes IX-XII and primary teachers . ED is investigating cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) .
On Friday ED officials conducted search at the residence of the incumbent Minister of State for Education Paresh Chandra Adhikary in Cooch Behar district in North Bengal.
Search and raids were held at residence of Manik Bhattacharya, a former president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education Board. Residence of a number of current and former officials were raided over their alleged links to the scam.
Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Chandra Adhikary were both quizzed multiple times by the CBI in connection with the scam. The alleged irregularities involve giving appointments to candidates in return of money and depriving deserving candidates who had qualified in the recruitment process.
Recently, Calcutta High Court directed sacking of Mr. Adhikary’s daughter who has got job in a state run school by ignoring the merit.