SSC Scam: Court Remands Partha Chatterjee, Former Chief of Edu Board in CBI Custody

A special court here on Friday remanded former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee in CBI custody till September 21 on a prayer by the agency seeking to question him in connection with a school recruitment scam. The court also remanded former West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) president Kalyanmoy Ganguly, arrested by the agency on Thursday, in CBI custody for the same period.

Bail prayers of both the accused persons were rejected by the court. The agency, which is looking into School Service Commission (SSC) teaching and non-teaching staff recruitment scam, had sought their custody from the judge of special CBI court in Alipore here, claiming that a huge conspiracy was involved and to unearth the details of it, custodial interrogation of Chatterjee and Ganguly was necessary.

Chatterjee, who held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off, was relieved of his ministerial duties by the Mamata Banerjee government following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which was probing the money trail in the scam. He held the portfolios of parliamentary affairs and industry during his arrest on July 23. His alleged close associate Arpita Mukherjee were also held on the same day by the ED following the seizure of cash of nearly Rs 50 crore, apart from bullion, jewellery and property deeds from her flats in the city. Chatterjee, who was earlier in judicial remand, prayed that he be granted bail, claiming that he was aged and unwell.

Addressing the judge, the 70-year old former minister said that he took 28 medicines daily. Chatterjee’s lawyers said that he was not in the know of day-to-day affairs of the recruitment process.

The CBI lawyer, praying for Chatterjee’s custody, submitted before the judge that the former minister was an influential person and he getting released on bail at this juncture would hamper the investigation into the scam. The CBI is investigating the SSC teaching and non-teaching staff recruitment scam on an order of the Calcutta High Court, which is monitoring the probe.

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