ED Case Against TMC Min Highlights Corrupt Activities In State Edu Dept

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By: Anand Singh
Updated: 25 July, 2022 7:38 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Even as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Bengal government Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Partha Chatterjee, the financial probe agency had registered a case of money laundering against him in June this year on the basis of the CBI FIR registered on the orders of the Calcutta High Court.

The ED case alleged that the accused persons indulged in “corrupt activities” of “selling” the jobs of primary teachers in lieu of money.

The ED in its remand copy against Chatterjee stated that it filed the case on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) FIR under the directions of the High Court of Calcutta in the matter of one Soumen Nandy versus the State of West Bengal and Others.

The ED said that the FIR was registered against the accused persons for indulging in “corrupt activities” of “selling” the jobs of primary teachers in lieu of money.

It further stated that the Calcutta High Court had earlier passed orders for CBI investigation for the illegal appointments of non-teaching staff (Group C & D) and teaching staff (Classes IX-XII) by the West Bengal Central School Service Commission and West Bengal Board of Secondary Education.

It further said that a five-member Supervising committee dubbed as the Super committee by the High Court of Calcutta consisting of SP Sinha, Advisor to the West Bengal Central School, Sukanta Acharya, Personal secrecy to the In-Charge ‘of school Education Department, PK Bandopadhyay, OSD to the MIC Of education department, AK Sarkar, deputy director (GA section), directorate of school education department, T Panja, Law Officer of the department was approved by Chatterjee, then In-Charge of the school education Department, Bengal government.

It stated that the same was notified in the form of an order of the Joint Secretary to the West Bengal government on November 1, 2019, to supervise, monitor and guide the Central Commission in connection with the pending recruitment process.

“Calcutta High Court, as well as the Inquiry Committee, constituted by the High Court under the chairmanship of Justice RK Bag (Retd.) have termed the constitution of the said 5-member Supervising committee an illegality and a violation of the School Service Commission Act, 1997,” the ED stated.

That the Calcutta High Court in the matter of Anindita Bera versus the State of West Bengal and others vide order dated April 7 this year expressed surprise over the fact that the meeting of the said committee was to be held in the chamber of the Private Secretary to the Minister-in-charge of the education department, despite the fact that the commission has a 6-storey building of its own.

The ED further said that the HC also mentioned the fact that the role of the Minister-in-charge of Education (Partha Chatterjee) in corruption in illegal appointments would have to be investigated by the CBI and the High Court of Calcutta gave a free hand to interrogate any person irrespective of his political or social status to unearth the corruption.

“The High Court of Calcutta made Partha Chattopadhyay, the then Minister-charge of Education respondent vide its order May 20, 2022, in WPA NO. 5338 OF 2022. Partha Chattopadhyay Was made a respondent by the High Court in another writ petition of Sabina Yashmin and others versus the state of West Bengal and others.

The ED further said that Chattopadhyay was also ordered to attend the interrogation by the HC vide its order dated May 18 this year in another writ petition of 2021.

“The various orders of Calcutta High Court made it clear that the entire process of the recruitment of assistant teachers has been done illegally and for extraneous considerations,” the ED stated.

The ED also said that various complaints have been received by ED wherein it is alleged that “Chatterjee in connivance with his associates, looted huge money by selling of Government jobs, i.e, Primary Teachers, Assistant teachers for class IX to XII and laundered the same through companies/ proprietorship firms running in the name of different persons”.

“That the inputs received also indicated towards the laundering of the proceeds of crime through Arpita Mukherjee, who is a close associate of Chatterjee,” it said.

Chatterjee was arrested by the ED on Saturday after questioning for over 26 hours by the ED. The financial probe agency had also arrested Mukherjee after over Rs 21 crore was recovered during searches from her premises in Kolkata.

Chatterjee was sent to two days of ED custody. However, he complained of uneasiness and was sent to SSKM super speciality hospital in Kolkata.

The ED then approached the High Court, which ordered the transfer of Chatterjee to AIIMS Bhubaneswar.

A Kolkata court had also sent Mukherjee to one day ED custody on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the CBI FIR did not name Chatterjee, which is registered on May 18 this year. But he came under the scanner as he was West Bengal’s education minister in the recent past and the alleged irregularities occurred when he held the Education portfolio.

The CBI FIR named Minister-in-charge of Education (West Bengal) Paresh Chandra Adhikary, his daughter Ankita Adhikary and others which it registered on May 18 this year on the basis of the orders of the Calcutta High court dated May 17. He was also questioned by the CBI on May 18 this year.

In the FIR, the CBI alleged that the merit list for appointment of Assistant Teachers in Class XI-XII in the subject of Political Science on the basis of an advertisement published in the year 2016 by the Government of West Bengal School Education Department was altered to accommodate one Ankita Adhikary daughter of Paresh Chandra Adhikary, Minister, State of West Bengal while demoting the other candidates in the merit list and thereby giving appointment to the post of Class XI-XII teacher to Ankita Adhikary depriving other eligible candidates of getting an appointment on merit.

The FIR also alleged that the total marks secured by Ankita Adhikary in the First SLST (State Level Selection Test), 2016 was 61 and there is no marks against the personality test while other candidates, who had secured more marks and who had appeared in personality test also were not appointed to the said posts of Assistant Teacher.

The CBI FIR also alleged that some powerful invisible hands definitely were working to manipulate the merit list for an appointment, otherwise, Ankita Adhikary, daughter of Paresh Chandra Adhikary could not have been included in the wait list at serial number one.

It is further alleged that there is a scam in appointments to the posts of said Assistant Teachers.

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