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Trinamul leader Santanu Banerjee’s ‘shell firms’ under Enforcement Directorate scanner

Partha Chatterjee a teacher in graft, says central investigating agency

Our Special Correspondent | Published 25.03.23, 06:45 AM
Shantanu Banerjee

Shantanu Banerjee

Suspended Trinamul Congress leader Santanu Banerjee had opened shell companies with fake directors to park the proceeds of the crime he had collected from candidates for jobs in government-aided schools, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said in a court on Friday.

The central investigating agency also told the court that former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee was a teacher and Banerjee a student in corruption in recruitments.


A staff member of the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited, Santanu was suspended following his arrest on March 10. The central agency had arrested the leader after questioning him for hours at its Kolkata office in connection with the probe into alleged irregularities in appointments in schools.

“Santanu Banerjee earned an annual salary of around Rs 6 lakh but amassed properties worth crores of rupees. Several shell companies were created to park the money collected from candidates. The amount was later invested in properties,” the lawyer representing the ED said atthe Bankshall court.

“Partha (Chatterjee) was a mastermoshai (teacher) and Santanu (Banerjee) a student in this corruption.”

Banerjee was in contact with several influential leaders and ED said some of their names had been mentioned in the case diary that was produced before the judge.

Senior officials of the agency said they had traced several of Banerjee’s properties, including a guesthouse, a restaurant, a house, an apartment and a resort.

Some of these properties were purchased in his wife’s name and a few others in the name of acquaintances, officials said. At least five benami properties have been traced that have links with Banerjee, the officials said.

“The shell companies were set up to create a maze of transactions to make it difficult for investigators to trace the main source of the money. Dummy candidates were named as directors. We found several admit cards for job tests during a search at his house. There are links between his disproportionate income and these admit cards,” an ED officer said outside the court.

Banerjee’s lawyer denied any links between his client’s wife and the properties under the scanner. He sought Banerjee’s bail on health grounds.

Banerjee was remanded in judicial custody till April 5.

Last updated on 25.03.23, 07:17 AM

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