Partha Chatterjee, former education minister of West Bengal has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in Kolkata today. The West Bengal Commerce and Industry minister has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the SSC recruitment scam in the state. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had found Rs 21 crore cash following raids at his house.
After an FIR was filed by the CBI, Calcutta High Court had directed ED to investigate the alleged scam in the recruitment of Group ‘C’ and ‘D’ staff, assistant teachers of classes 11 and 11 and primary teachers in the government schools of West Bengal.
The former West Bengal education minister, who represents the ruling party of the state — Trinamool Congress, completed his class 12 from Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur. He completed his graduation from Ashutosh College in economics. Chatterjee also holds a postgraduate degree in business administration and completed his MBA from ISWBM.
He was elected as an MLA from Behala Paschim in 2001, and later in 2006. He was leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly from 2006 to 2011. In 2016 and 2021, West Bengal assembly election he was re-elected from the same constituency. Chatterjee was sworn in as a cabinet minister under Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on May 20, 2011 and allotted the portfolios of Commerce and Industry, Public Enterprises, Information Technology and Electronics and Parliamentary affairs.
After the Assembly election 2016, he became the Minister-in-Charge of Higher Education and School Education Department, West Bengal govt. After the 2021 West Bengal Assembly Election, he was given the portfolio of Commerce and Industry, Information Technology and Electronics while the Ministry of Higher Education and School Education Department was given to Bratya Basu.
During the recent search, ED recovered cash of Rs 21 crore from the Arpita Mukherjee’s residence, who is a “close associate" of Chatterjee, which is suspected to be proceeds of SSC recruitment scam. Further, documents pertaining to around 10 properties, gold and diamond ornaments worth about Rs 50 lakh were also recovered from Mukherjee’s residence, sources said.
“The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC scam," the federal probe agency said in a statement. The search teams took the help of bank officials for counting cash through machines. More than 20 mobile phones have also been seized during the raids.