Former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee broke down during their virtual court hearing today. The two are currently in judicial custody after being arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the teachers’ recruitment scam.
“I am so worried about my image in public. I was a student of Economics. I was the Leader of the Opposition before becoming a minister,” Chatterjee told the Judge.
“I am a victim of politics. Please ask the ED to visit my house and my assembly constituency once. I am an LLB and was granted a British scholarship. My daughter lives in the UK. How can I involve myself in such a scam? I should be given medical treatment before justice,” he appealed.
Partha Chatterjee has moved court for bail. “My client is cooperating with the investigating agency. He is ready to co-operate in the future too. Kindly grant him bail in any condition,” his lawyer appealed before the court.
“I want to live peacefully. Kindly allow me to live my life. Give me bail in any condition,” Chatterjee said in court.
Soon after Chatterjee, his associate Arpita was produced before the judge. “I have no idea how this happened to me. I really don’t know how and from where the Enforcement Directorate recovered these huge amounts of money from my home,” Mukherjee told the court.
The Judge then questioned Arpita, asking whether she knew where the money was found. “From my residence,” came her response. “Are you the owner of the house?” the judge further asked, to which Arpita responded in the affirmative.
“Then, according to the law, you are answerable,” the judge said.
“But I have no idea about the money recovered. I belong to a middle-class family. My father is no more. My 82-year-old mother isn’t well. I belong to an ordinary family. How can the ED raid my house?” she persevered.
“The ED can raid any house if it is required in their investigation. They have the power,” the judge said.
Massive piles of cash were recovered from Arpita Mukherjee’s homes in Kolkata by the ED in July. Armed with counting machines, the financial probe agency seized nearly 50 crores in cash, gold and jewellery from Arpita’s homes.
The agency also found incriminating documents, which they claimed connected Partha Chatterjee to the Bengal teachers’ recruitment scam.
The Trinamool Congress, the party to which Chatterjee belonged, was soon to cut the leader off. Chatterjee was first dropped as a minister and then stripped of all party posts. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for action against her leader if any of the charges are proven.
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