Published on: 23rd July 2022, 13:27 IST
In connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in government schools, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has detained Partha Chatterjee, a West Bengal minister and the State Secretary General of the governing Trinamool Congress, officials said on Saturday.
He was interrogated for almost 26 hours before being taken into custody. According to Chatterjee’s attorney, Anindya Raut, he has been transported to the ED office in Kolkata and will be presented in court later today.
In 13 locations in West Bengal on Friday, the ED conducted raids and seized cash worth 20 crore from a flat owned by a close friend of Chatterjee.
The residence of two West Bengal ministers, Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Adhikary, Minister of State for Education, were among the 13 locations searched by the federal agency, they added. When the swindle allegedly occurred, Chatterjee was the State’s Minister of Education.
The homes of a few prominent former and current employees of the state education department whose names have come up in the suspected scheme were raided on Friday. On the list were people like SP Sinha, a former advisor to the School Service Commission, Ratna Chakraborty Bagchi, a TMC MLA and former president of the state board for basic education, and Kalyanmoy Ganguly, the head of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was previously directed by the Calcutta High Court to look into the suspected irregularities in the hiring of hundreds of teachers and non-teaching personnel in state-run secondary and elementary schools.
Later in June, ED filed two first information reports (FIRs) to discover the purported money trail connected to the case. There are rumours that for the hiring of teachers hired through the SSC and Teacher Eligibility Test, transactions amounting to crores of rupees were made.
The CBI had previously questioned Chatterjee, Adhikary, and the authorities. Chatterjee is being questioned by the ED for the first time in relation to the case. The daughter of Adhikary was previously fired from her position as a schoolteacher by the court.