In an interesting twist to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe into the teacher’s recruitment scam case, the agency had found that former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee had issued a letter calling himself “a close family friend of actor Arpita Mukherjee” for his no objection to her adopting a child.
The revelations were made by the ED in the charge sheet filed before a Special PMLA court in Calcutta. The court took cognizance of the charge sheet on Saturday.
In the charge sheet, which has been accessed by The New Indian, the ED said that Chatterjee, who has since been suspended by Trinamool Congress (TMC), was confronted with the evidence collected during the searches at the residential premises of Mukherjee.
Chatterjee and Mukherjee were arrested by the financial probe agency on July 23 this year after searches at multiple locations associated with them. The ED during the searches has recovered cash to the tune of ₹49 crore. The agency also recovered gold and jewellery worth over ₹4.6 crore.
The ED during the searches at the premises of Mukherjee on July 22 found a letter by Chatterjee, dated February 22 this year, declaring that he was a close family friend of Mukherjee and he had no objection to her (Mukherjee) adopting a child.
The ED confronted Chatterjee with the letter and asked for his comments on the same and also stated the circumstances in which it was issued.
“Chatterjee, with regard to the said letter, stated that he identifies his signature and further stated that he used to issue certificates as a public representative to those who approached him on various issues based on his ability to judge,” the ED said.
Meanwhile, when ED asked Chatterjee about the 31 LIC policies received from Assistant Secretary LIC CRM/PS Department, LIC Kolkata-72 vide its letter dated 22.08.2022 in which he was a nominee in all 31 LIC policies, Chatterjee gave an evasive reply.
Meanwhile, when ED asked Chatterjee about the 31 LIC policies received from the Assistant Secretary LIC officer of LIC in Kolkata in which he was a nominee in all policies.
“Chatterjee gave an evasive reply that this issue was taken up before the Court and the Advocate had already replied,” the ED said.
Regarding his abroad visits with one Snehmoy Dutta and Mukherjee, Chatterjee stated that Dutta was working with his Ex-employer. Dutta was one of the directors of Symbiosis Merchants Pvt. Ltd. in which Mukherjee was also a director. Chatterjee said that he had visited so many places during his service career.
However, Mukherjee in her statement to the ED on August 25 stated that the said 31 LIC policies in her name were opened in March 2012 and that Chatterjee was a nominee in all the 31 LIC Policies.
She also stated that all the LIC Policies had matured and the linked account in respect of these LIC Policies was being maintained in Indian Overseas Bank, Baranagar Branch.
The ED had also attached properties and bank balances of Chatterjee and Mukherjee and others to the tune of ₹48.22 crore. To date the ED has attached and seized properties and bank balance to the tune of over ₹110 crore in connection with the case.