Kolkata: The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) began search operations at various premises linked to recruitment scam in the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board on 22 July 2022.
The persons being searched include Partha Chatterjee, the Minister of Commerce & Industry, Parliamentary Affairs, Electronics & IT, Government of West Bengal and the Ex-Minister-in-charge of Education; Paresh C. Adhikary, Minister of State for Education, Government of West Bengal; Manik Bhattacharya, MLA, and Ex-President of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education; Ms. Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of Partha Chatterjee; PK Bandopadhyay, OSD to the then MIC of Education, Sukanta Acharjee, PS to the then MIC of Education; Chandan Mondal @ Ranjan, Agent in selling jobs of teachers; Kalyanmay Bhattacharya, son-in-law of Partha Bhattacharya; Krishna C. Adhikary, Relative of Kalyanmay Bhattacharya; Dr. S. P. Sinha, Advisor of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission – Convenor of the 5-member committee; Kalyanmoy Ganguly, Ex- President of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education; Saumitra Sarkar, Ex-President of the West Bengal Central School Service Commission; and Alok Kumar Sarkar, Deputy Director, School Education Department. During the course of searches, the ED has recovered huge cash amounting to approximately Rs. 20 crores from the residential premises of Arpita Mukherjee, who is close associate of Shri Partha Chatterjee. The amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of what is now called the SSC Scam. The search team took the assistance of bank officials for the counting of cash through cash counting machines. A total of more than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from the premises of Ms. Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which is being ascertained. Further, a number of other incriminating documents, records, details of dubious companies, electronic devices, foreign currency and gold has also been recovered from the various premises of the persons linked to the scam.
The High Court of Calcutta in a slew of writ petitions had recently directed the CBI to carry out investigations into the recruitment scam of Group ‘C’ & ‘D’ staff, Assistant Teachers of classes IX-XII and primary teachers. In these cases, involving illegal appointment of non-teaching staff (Group C & D), teaching staff [Assistant teachers (Class IX-XII) and teachers in Primary school, ED is investigating cases under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA).