Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], August 3 (ANI): A Special Court in Kolkata on Wednesday extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of former West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide, Arpita Mukherjee, by two days till August 5 in connection with the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam.

The duo was produced before the court as their 10-day ED custody was coming to an end.

The ED unearthed many disproportionate assets of Partha Chatterjee since his arrest, of which were three flats in West Bengal's Diamond City.

The ED sleuths have recovered around Rs 50 crore in cash, along with jewellery, from Mukherjee's two flats in southwest Kolkata and Belghoria.

The arrest of Partha Chatterjee followed Rs 21 crore in cash and jewellery worth above Rs 1 crore being recovered from the Kolkata residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the former education minister.

The Enforcement Directorate July 23 recovered over Rs 21 crore in cash from the house of an associate of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee.

The ED raided Arpita Mukerjee's house in connection with an alleged teacher recruitment scam. Earlier, Rs 20 crore was recovered from her residence in South Kolkata.

ED officials also conducted a raid at the residence of businessman Manoj Jain in Ballygunge. Jain is reportedly an aide of state minister Partha Chatterjee.

Trinamool Congress, which has distanced itself from Chatterjee, axed him as a minister and suspended him from the party leaving it solely to him to defend himself in the Enforcement Directorate probe.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also suspended Chatterjee from the party and removed him from all the party posts.

Party leader Abhishek Banerjee told the media that Chatterjee has been suspended till the investigation is underway.

"Partha Chatterjee has been removed from TMC along with the post of General Secretary, National vice president and three other posts. He has been suspended till the investigation is underway," Banerjee said.

However, Chatterjee had denied his involvement in the School Service Commission (SSC) scam and asserted that the "money does not belong to him".

"When the time comes, you will know...the money does not belong to me," he told media persons.

Arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee - who is now suspended from the Trinamool Congress - and his aide Arpita Mukherjee have separately been claiming that they are "victim(s) of a conspiracy." (ANI)

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