NEW DELHI: Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee was sent to two-day custody with the Enforcement Directorate after he was arrested in connection with a teachers’ recruitment scam.
The central probe agency had sought a 14-day custody of the Bengal minister. He will now be produced before a special PMLA court on Monday.
It is also learnt that his health condition is not good and therefore his lawyers might ask for his hospitalisation.
Chatterjee was formally arrested after a marathon interrogation of over 26 hours, that began Friday morning in which more than a dozen documents were seized from his residence in Naktala.
Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the minister has also been detained. ED recovered Rs 20 crore in unaccounted cash from Mukherjee’s residence in south Kolkata a day back.
Sukanta Acharya, a former bureaucrat who was associated with Partha Chatterjee as his private secretary since 2011 was also questioned by ED officials and later taken into custody.
The Trinamool minister was taken to Joka ESI medical college hospital for examination following his arrest. From there, he was taken to the Kolkata sessions court (Bankshall Court).
Chatterjee told reporters outside the hospital that he tried to contact chief minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, but couldn’t get through.
Chatterjee was the state education minister when the alleged scam took place and ED is probing the money laundering aspect of those allegedly involved in it.
The agency on Friday carried out simultaneous raids in the houses of former advisor of the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) Shanti Prasad Sinha, ex-president of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Kalyanmoy Ganguly and nine others.
The CBI, as directed by the Calcutta High Court, is looking into the alleged irregularities committed in the recruitment of Group-C and D staff as well as teachers in government-sponsored and –aided schools on recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission. The ED is tracking the money trail in the scam.
Chatterjee, currently industries and commerce minister, was also interrogated by the CBI twice earlier, once on April 26 and then on May 18.