A PMLA court here extended the judicial custody of former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his alleged close associate Arpita Mukherjee, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on money laundering charges, till February 14.
Chatterjee and the other accused were produced before the court through the virtual mode from the correctional homes they are lodged in respectively.
No bail prayer was made by Chatterjee or Mukherjee before the court.
The Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court judge at the Bankshall Court here extended the judicial remand of Chatterjee and Mukherjee till February 14.
Submitting before the judge from Presidency correctional home through the virtual mode, Chatterjee claimed that he is innocent and that he has been framed.
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The ED’s counsel prayed for an extension of his judicial remand stating that the investigation into the alleged acts of money laundering was continuing.
The ED arrested the two on July 23, 2022, from their residences here after recovering huge amounts of cash, jewellery and property deeds from Mukherjee’s flats and alleged criminal conspiracy by them for laundering ill-gotten money gained from giving jobs of assistant teachers and primary teachers in state government-sponsored and-aided schools to undeserving persons.
Chatterjee held the Education portfolio between 2014 and 2021 when the irregularities in recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in state government-sponsored and -aided schools is alleged to have taken place.
Chatterjee was relieved of his ministerial duties by the Mamata Banerjee government following his arrest by the ED. He held several portfolios including Parliamentary Affairs, Industry and Commerce when he was arrested.
The Trinamool Congress also removed him from all posts he held in the party, including that of its secretary general.