MY KOLKATA EDUGRAPH
ADVERTISEMENT
regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Bengal school job case: Properties 'linked to Partha Chatterjee' seized

The attached properties were 'beneficially' owned by Chatterjee, the ED had said, adding they were in the name of dummy companies and persons who acted as 'proxies' for the former minister

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 15.06.24, 06:47 AM
Partha Chatterjee

Partha Chatterjee File image

Several land parcels spread across Calcutta, Howrah, South 24-Parganas and Birbhum allegedly linked to Partha Chatterjee, the arrested former education minister, have been seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after the agency concluded that they were acquired with “proceeds of crime”, senior officers said.

Among the properties that have been seized are around 18 cottahs of land in three parcels in Patuli, on the eastern fringes of the city, a few bighas in Howrah’s Amta and land tracts in Bishnupur (South 24-Parganas) and Bolpur (Birbhum).

ADVERTISEMENT

“While tracing the trail of money that changed hands in the school job scam, we had stumbled upon several missing links,” said a senior ED officer. “On further investigation, it appeared that these properties were linked to Chatterjee and were meant to park the proceeds of crime. The exact valuation of the seized properties is yet to be ascertained but we believe it would run into several crores of rupees.”

Since his arrest in July 2022, the central agency said, it has seized properties allegedly linked to Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee worth over 40 crore.

The attached properties were “beneficially” owned by Chatterjee, the ED had said, adding they were in the name of dummy companies and persons who acted as “proxies” for the former minister.

During the investigation into the irregularities in recruitments in government-aided schools, the ED had also seized properties worth over 230 crore of Santi Prasad Sinha, a former adviser to the West Bengal School Service Commission, and alleged middleman Prasanna Roy.

On Friday, the agency said it had traced and seized properties, worth around 2.5 crore, allegedly linked to Tapas Mondal. The properties are in Khardah, on the city’s northern fringes.

Last March, the CBI had arrested Mondal, a former president of an association of private colleges that offer bachelor of education and diploma in elementary education courses.

“The proceeds of the crime travelled through a complex network involving multiple beneficiaries and were parked in several benami assets. More such links could emerge with time,” the ED officer said.

During court appearances over the last few years, Chatterjee has denied links to most of the properties seized saying there was no evidence to suggest they belonged to him or were registered in his name.

ED officers said they had reasons to believe that certain properties were linked to Chatterjee.

“In our previous chargesheets, we detailed Chatterjee’s bank deposits, landed properties and investments in various companies. The new seizures will be added to that list,” the officer said.

Follow us on:
ADVERTISEMENT