SSC recruitment ‘scam’: ED raids homes of ministers Partha Chatterjee, Paresh Adhikari

Enforcement Directorate is investigating the money laundering aspect of the School Service Commission recruitment scam, where transactions worth crores of rupees were allegedly made for the appointment of teachers recruited through the SSC
As part of its investigation into the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted raids at 13 locations across West Bengal, including the residences of state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee, in Kolkata, and state Education Minister Paresh Adhikari, in North Bengal.

The ED is investigating the money laundering aspect of the recruitment scam, where transactions worth crores of rupees were allegedly made for the appointment of teachers recruited through the SSC.

Friday’s development resulted in a war of words between the ruling Trinamool Congress and opposition BJP. “The ED and CBI are working as per the court’s directive. Everyone’s house whose name has cropped up should be raided. This involves a scam of Rs 100 crore. You can’t fool people by pulling crowds in exchange of money and biryani,” BJP national vice president Dilip Ghosh said.
Meanwhile, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Santanu Sen questioned the timing of the raid. “We have maintained that we will always cooperate with the investigation but the timing is questionable. July 21st’s crowd has shaken BJP leaders’ confidence at the Centre, and as usual, they continue to remote-control the central agencies,” said Sen, referring to the mega Martyrs’ Day (Shahid Divas) rally held at Esplanade in Kolkata on July 21.
Sources said that the ED has lodged two FIRs in this case. The CBI has already questioned several SSC officials, including Chatterjee, who was the former education minister, and Adhikari.

The Calcutta High Court had earlier noted that a high-powered supervisory committee, approved by Chatterjee, was at the “root” of the alleged scam. The high court had ordered a CBI investigation into the recruitment process of teachers in state-aided schools after committee members overseeing the process from January 2019 made contradictory submissions to the court.

The court had also directed the CBI to investigate the workings of the committee members engaged to oversee the recruitment process. The five members were S P Sinha, advisor to SSC, S Acharjee, private secretary to education minister, P K Bandopadhyay, officer on special duty to education minister, A K Sarkar, deputy director-education directorate, and T Panja, senior law officer to the department.
The court had asked the CBI director to set up an investigation committee led by an officer of the rank of joint director. It also gave a free hand to the agency to take appropriate action against committee members.

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