WBSSC scam: Partha Chatterjee, Arpita Mukherjee sent to 14-day judicial custody
A special Public Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on Friday sent former state minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.
Both will be produced in the same court on August 18.
Chatterjee’s counsel sought to counter the argument of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) counsel that Chatterjee should not be granted bail because of his “impressive connections” as a former minister and heavyweight leader of the ruling party. That Chatterjee had already been snatched. His ministers and party departments and hence the argument of “influential connections” is not really on the ground.
“My client is also ready to resign as an MLA. He will not abscond under any circumstances. No property was recovered from his residence and hence, he should be granted bail in view of his age as well as various medical complications. victim,” argued the lawyer.
He also claimed that various documents regarding properties or insurance policies held jointly by Chatterjee and Mukherjee were forged.
However, ED’s counsel argued that during his entire tenure in the central agency’s custody, Chatterjee was in a completely non-cooperation mood and hence, he needed to be further interrogated. It also sought the permission of the court so that officials of the central agency can visit the correctional home where Chatterjee will be kept and questioned there.
Mukherjee’s counsel, on the other hand, did not file any bail plea for his client. Rather, he appealed for a category A category prisoner in prison, where he would be kept in prisons because of the threat to his life.
Even the ED’s counsel said that the central agency has similar information. ED’s counsel argued, “My submission to the court is that the food and liquid served to Arpita Mukherjee in jails should first be examined and then served.”
The special court, after hearing all the parties concerned, rejected Chatterjee’s bail application and ordered the two to be remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.
Trinamool Congress state general secretary and party spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said Chatterjee should not be given any special status in jails and should be treated at par with other prisoners. Ghosh said, “He should be allotted a simple jail cell, not a jail hospital. If I come to know that Partha Chatterjee is getting special status or facilities in jails, I will protest again.”