Teachers’ scam: Manik Bhattacharya’s judicial custody extended by a month

A special court on Wednesday extended the judicial custody of Trinamool Congress legislator and former president of West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) by one month in connection with a case related to his alleged involvement in the multi- crore teachers’ recruitment scam in the state.

Incidentally, also on Wednesday, the ED filed a supplementary chargesheet in the same court where the central agency named Manik Bhattacharya, his son Souvik Bhattacharya and wife Satarupa Bhattacharya.

He will be presented in the same court on January 7, 2023.

On Wednesday, Bhattacharya’s counsel, Sanjay Dasgupta moved his bail plea on health and medical grounds.

Dasgupta denied the claims of the ED counsel that Bhattacharya being a politically influential person could tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses if released on bail.

“It seems that ED has a special allergy about the ruling party of the state and it is why the central agency’s counsel is stressing so much on the fact that my client is a leader of the ruling party. There is no proof that my client has ever attempted to influence anyone,” Dasgupta argued.

On the other hand, ED’s counsel Phiroze Edulji claimed that Tapas Mondal, a close associate of Bhattacharya and the president of All Bengal Teachers’ Training Achievers’ Association (ABTTAA), has admitted that he was responsible for collecting money from Bhattacharya from different private teachers’ training colleges in the state.

“ED has frozen as many as 61 bank accounts in the case and confiscated land and property worth around Rs 8 crore,” Edulji argued.

After hearing both sides on Wednesday, the judge of the special court of PMLA reserved the judgement for some time.

However, later on Wednesday evening, the verdict was pronounced, extending Bhattacharya’s judicial custody by one month.

20221207-202801

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