Money Laundering Case: Calcutta HC Rejects Bail Plea of Partha Chatterjee

Partha Chatterjee_LegallySpeaking

The Calcutta High Court dismissed the bail plea of former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee in a money laundering case initiated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) regarding its investigation into a money trail related to a primary school jobs case.

Chatterjee was arrested by ED officials on July 22, 2022, over alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff in government-sponsored and aided primary schools in West Bengal.

The Judge

Justice Tirthankar Ghosh denied Chatterjee’s bail application. Chatterjee, who held various portfolios, including Education, from 2011 to 2021 in the West Bengal cabinet, was arrested along with his alleged close associate Arpita Mukherjee as part of the ED’s investigation into the alleged illegal recruitments.

Enforcement Directorate

The ED has reported the recovery of Rs 49.80 crore in cash, as well as jewellery and gold bars, from flats owned by Mukherjee, along with documents related to properties and a jointly held company.

Chatterjee’s legal team sought bail, citing the completion of the investigation and his age of over 70 years, along with his multiple ailments. They highlighted that he has been in custody for over 21 months.

However, ED’s counsel Phiroze Edulji opposed the plea, arguing that Chatterjee is an influential individual and a sitting MLA in the state, suggesting he might attempt to influence witnesses in the case.

Following his arrest, Chatterjee was relieved of his ministerial duties by the Mamata Banerjee government. Additionally, the Trinamool Congress removed him from all party posts, including that of its secretary general.

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