Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths probing the multi-crore teachers’ recruitment scam in West Bengal is likely to present its first charge sheet against Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE), Manik Bhattacharya within the next 10 days and if possible, by December 10.
ED sources said that the target of the sleuths is to present the charge sheet within 40 days since the date of arrest which took place on October 10 this year. The charge sheet will be presented at a special court of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in Kolkata.
Although ED officials were tightlipped over the detailed contents of the charge sheet, sources said that a major part of it will relate to the nexus of proceeds going to the bank accounts of Bhattacharya and his family members from different private teachers’ training colleges in the state.
The statements and documents given by Tapas Mondal, the president of All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association (ABTTAA), an umbrella organisation of such private teachers training colleges, and a prime witness in the teachers’ recruitment scam as well as the statements given by some representatives of such private institutes will be the supporting and supplementary evidences on this count.
Another point that might be highlighted in the ED charge sheet will be the evidences accumulated by the Central agency sleuths on how Manik Bhattacharya kept a particular joint account held by his wife Satarupa Bhattacharya and one individual, Mrityunjoy Chakraborty, even after years of the latter’s demise by using his identity proofs as KYC.
The charge sheet on this count might also highlight the huge amount of property and assets to the tune of around Rs 30 crore in the name of Manik Bhattacharya and his family members.
The third probable but crucial point that might be attempted to be established in the charge sheet will be nexus between Bhattacharya and the former West Bengal education minister, Partha Chatterjee in this scam.
ED sleuths have got evidence that a WhatsApp message from a whistle-blower alerting Chatterjee about Bhattacharya’s involvement in the scam was forwarded by Chatterjee to Bhattacharya only.