Kolkata: A court in Kolkata remanded West Bengal commerce and industries minister Partha Chatterjee to two-day interim custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The court also directed ED to present Chatterjee at a special PMLA court at the end of his remand period.
Earlier, ED sleuths arrested Chatterjee, who’s also the secretary general of Trinamool Congress, in connection with the recruitment irregularities in West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) when he was the state education minister.
Chatterjee’s counsels moved a bail petition in the court and claimed that since the investigating agency did not have any concrete evidence to prove Chatterjee’s direct involvement in the scam, his bail petition be accepted.
However, the ED counsel strongly objected to the bail plea and claimed that since Chatterjee as state minister can influence the witnesses, his application should be rejected.
The ED counsel also argued that since there is concrete evidence of huge financial involvement behind illegal granting of jobs in WBSSC, there are enough reasons to book Chatterjee under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). After hearing both sides, the lower court rejected the bail application and remanded Chatterjee to two-day ED custody. ED officials said that they will present Chatterjee at the special PMLA court and seek extension of his custody. The court also rejected a plea filed by Chatterjee for his admission to hospital considering his health condition. Chatterjee’s counsels said that they will move the bail application again at the special PMLA court.