KOLKATA: Besides the Rs 50 crore cash recovered from her residence in July end, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has tracked an additional Rs 5.32 crore in three banks accounts of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of former West Bengal Education Minister and Trinamool Congress Secretary General, Partha Chatterjee.
Both, who are currently in judicial custody over their alleged involvement in the West Bengal School Service Commission (BSSC) recruitment scam, appeared for hearing in virtual mode at a special ED court on Wednesday afternoon, where the central agency's counsel informed the court about the new revelations.
The ED counsel told the court that this additional amount was traced in five bank accounts - three of which are individually held by Arpita Mukherjee, while the other two accounts are in the name of two companies where she is the Director.
On Wednesday, after Chatterjee's counsel moved bail prayer on behalf of his client, the former minister broke into tears.
"I am a victim of a conspiracy. ED officials were at my residence for long hours. But nothing was recovered from my residence. I was a student of economics. I have also done my doctorate. I was a minister for a long time and before that I was the Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly. I had an untainted career," a sobbing Chatterjee told the court.
As the court asked: "Are you seeking a release on bail?", the once heavyweight Trinamool leader broke down further. "Sir, please have mercy on me. Let me leave in peace. Please understand that I am a victim of a conspiracy," he said sobbing profusely.
Mukherjee, on her part, denied all charges of her involvement in the WBSSC recruitment scam. "I come from an ordinary family. I do not know how so much money was recovered from my residence," he said. However, the judge reminded her that since she was owner of the two residences, the onus of the existence of huge cash comes on her.
The court then reserved its order.