ED Lawyer Says Scam Accused Faces Life Threat

There is a threat to the life of Arpita Mukherjee — close aide of former Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and arrested with him for the SSC scam — and the food and water provided to her in prison should be checked, the Enforcement Directorate has told a special court in Kolkata.

Mukherjee’s counsel Niladri Bhattacharya said: “ED counsel Phiroz Edulzi expressed apprehension before a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court that there is a grave threat perception to Mukherjee, according to intelligence inputs. He also said that the food and water, which she would be provided in jail, should be checked.”

As the court sent Chatterjee and Mukherjee to 14 days in judicial custody, Bhattacharya added that the probe agency also requested the court not to keep the latter with more than four prisoners in general.

Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee were arrested on money-laundering charges linked to the School Service Commission scam last month. Cash and jewellery worth crores were also recovered from the latter’s house. The duo has been in ED remand since their arrest on July 23.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has relieved Chatterjee of his ministerial duties, while the Trinamool Congress has removed him from all posts he held in the party.

On Friday, Partha Chatterjee’s lawyer argued that he was not connected to the crime. “No one has come out and said that he had asked for a bribe, neither in the CBI case nor in ED. Can they show any witness that he has asked for a bribe? Partha Chatterjee is not connected with the crime and the allegations levelled by the CBI are not appropriate,” argued Chatterjee’s lawyer.

“In the ED case on July 22, when his house was raided nothing has been recovered. If you try to ask a man who is not involved in the crime, he will obviously be non-cooperative,” he added. He also pleaded for bail for his client, saying Chatterjee “is not a political person now he can leave the MLA post if required”.

The court has the two accused to judicial custody till August 18.

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Originally published at www.news18.com

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