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West Bengal SSC ‘scam’: ED to investigate ‘illegal financial transactions’

The CBI has questioned state Cabinet Minister Partha Chatterjee and Minister of State for Education Paresh Chandra Adhikary in connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government schools in the state.

West Bengal SSC ‘scam’: ED to investigate ‘illegal financial transactions’It is suspected that transactions worth crores of rupees were made for the appointment of teachers recruited through the SSC. (File Photo/Representative Image)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is likely to probe alleged illegal financial transactions in the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam case, officials on Friday said. According to sources, the central agency has sought a copy of the FIR from the
Central Bureau of Investigation which is probing the case. Besides, it is scrutinising several other documents.

It is suspected that transactions worth crores of rupees were made for the appointment of teachers recruited through the SSC. Several influential people have been named in the case. If the ED starts an investigation, it will probe the money-laundering angle. The CBI has questioned state Cabinet Minister Partha Chatterjee and Minister of State for Education Paresh Chandra Adhikary in connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government schools in the state. The Calcutta High Court
had earlier recorded that a high-powered supervisory committee, approved by Chatterjee, was the “root” of the alleged scam.

The agency has booked four former SSC officials and an official of the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education in the case. They ate former convenor of the committee and SSC adviser SP Sinha, former programme officer Samarjit Acharya, ex-SSC chairman Saumitra Sarkar, former SSC secretary Ashok Saha, and WBBSE president Kalyanmoy Ganguly.

Bharatiya Janata Party MP Locket Chatterjee said, “Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee planned how to hide crores of rupees. Had he made such planning for the future of students of Bengal, the education situation in the state would have been much better,” the MP said.

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“The CBI cannot investigate the financial aspect of the case. It is only investigating the criminal aspect of it. However, the ED will investigate the economic aspect. It will have to probe this case since lot of money is involved,” said senior Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

State Minister Chandrima Bhattacharya countered, saying, “ I don’t understand why Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury is making such statements. There are lot of cases against him.”

Meanwhile, Canning MLA Saokat Molla who had been asked to appear before investigating officials for questioning in the coal scam, evaded the summons. He was asked to bring all valid documents like passport, voter card, PAN card and Aadhaar card along.

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Molla’s lawyer visited the CBI office on Friday and sought 15 days time citing pre- scheduled political meetings of his client.

Also, TMC’s Birbhum’s district chief Anubrata Mondal, who was summoned on Friday in the cattle smuggling case, didn’t appear before the agency. He evaded the summons on health grounds.

First published on: 28-05-2022 at 06:06:10 am
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