West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, under whose nose the professed multi-crore SSC scam took place, has reacted to the alleged collaboration of her minister in the scam by stating ‘mistakes happen’.
The Enforcement Directorate has unearthed another massive corruption scandal- the SSC recruitment scam, mash in West Bengal involving the state’s Commerce and Industries Minister and Mamata Banerjee’s close intimate, Partha Chatterjee, and his close auxiliary Arpita Mukherjee.
In the raids being carried out in connection with the ongoing inquiry of the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam, the federal agency has, thus far, retrieved a little over Rs 50 crores in cash and Rs 4.31 crore worth of gold from multiple locations linked to Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of arrested cabinet minister Partha Chatterjee.
Partha Chatterjee was the former education minister in the state in the Mamata Banerjee government.
According to reports, the ED carried out a fresh raid at Mukherjee’s apartment complex in Kolkata’s Belgharia locality on Wednesday. They left this morning with 10 trunks of cash amounting to Rs 29 crores, besides 5 kg of jewelry and gold bars. The operation pursued 18 long hours. This was the second raid conducted by the agency. During the first raid on 22 July, a day before her arrest, the agency had recovered a mammoth Rs 21.20 crores from the actor’s residence.
Besides the cash, jewelry worth Rs 20 lakhs, 22 mobile phones, and Rs 54 lakh worth of foreign currency, a number of other denouncing documents, records, details of dubious companies, and electronic devices, were also seized by the central agency.
On Tuesday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed that it recovered two black journals from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee in Kolkata which bears the details of the alleged School Service Commission (SSC) scam in West Bengal. One of the journals recovered from Mukherjee’s Diamond City South apartment has all the details of the West Bengal government’s department of higher education and school education.
According to reports, the black diary has 40 pages which consist of entries about the illegal appointment of teachers against bribes, collection of cash, and other details.
Besides, the agency also unearthed many unreasonable assets, including the two flats in an apartment in Belgharia in Kolkata, from where the cash was recovered, which the minister reportedly gifted to Arpita Mukherjee. It was discovered that in addition to the apartment he stays in, Partha Chatterjee owns three other properties in south Kolkata’s Tollygunge area. One of these flats is used solely for his dogs.
Notably, on Monday (July 25), a special court remanded Trinamool Congress (TMC) Minister Partha Chatterjee and actress Arpita Mukherjee to Enforcement Directorate custody for a period of 10 days.
The duo was arrested in connection to the School Service Commission (SSC) scam case. Arpita was arrested on July 23 this year, hours after the arrest of TMC Minister Partha Chatterjee in the same case. While remanding the duo in ED custody, the Court noted that the material produced before it by the central agency suggested that the offense was very serious.
It found that Partha Chatterjee owns a large number of flats, many of which he has gifted to his ‘close aides’ including Arpita Mukherjee and another woman named Monalisa Das. Arpita Chatterjee has told the ED that Partha Chatterjee used her flat as a ‘mini bank’. It conjectures that the flats gifted to Monalisa Das use for the same purpose.
Notably, Partha Chatterjee earned the majority of the money unearth hidden in Arpita Mukherjee’s apartments through pilferage during the recruitment of Group-C and D staff members as well as teachers in government-sponsored and aided schools on advocacy of the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC). At the time of the alleged contortion, Chatterjee served as the state’s education minister.