Teachers’ scam: Arrested TMC leader remanded to ED custody

Youth Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Kuntal Ghosh, who was arrested on Saturday in connection with the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal, was remanded to 14-day ED custody by a special court.

Soon after Ghosh’s arrest in the morning, he was presented at the special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), where the counsel of ED pleaded for his custody for the purpose of questioning.

“When the central agency investigation in the teachers’ recruitment scam started, it seemed that the depth of the scam was like that of the Indian Ocean. But now it seems that the depth of the scam is like that of the Pacific Ocean,” the counsel for ED, Phiroze Edulji said at the court on Saturday afternoon.

He also claimed that the ED sleuths have recovered a diary in this connection which will reveal more important clues about the scam.

“The irregularities were not just related to teachers’ appointments. There were irregularities in recruitment of non-teaching staff as well. The entire system had been marred by blatant corruption,” Edulji added.

On the other hand, Ghosh’s counsel, Selim Rahman claimed that although the ED counsel is describing the depth with that of the Pacific Ocean, in reality it is not even that of a small pond.

He argued that the ED sleuths could not recover any cash from the possession of his client and hence he should be remanded to ED custody.

“Even at the cost of any harsh restriction, my client should not be remanded to ED custody. If necessary, he will always keep his mobile phone on and will not move out of the house,” Rahman argued.

However, after hearing both sides, the special court remanded Ghosh to 14 days of judicial custody.

ED sleuths on Saturday morning arrested Ghosh from one of his two residences at Chinar Park at New Town on the northern outskirts of Kolkata after conducting a marathon raid and search operations for about 24 hours since Friday morning.

The ED officials also questioned him in phases during the last 24 hours.

However, after detecting inconsistencies in his statements, the central agency sleuths decided to arrest him and question him in their custody this morning.

Although there are no reports of cash seizure from his two residences, the officials recovered a number of crucial documents. The nature of documents seized is to be ascertained.

20230121-200601

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