A special Enforcement Directorate court here has allowed former minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee, both accused in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, to skip physical presence at the next hearing in the matter.
Instead, both have been asked to be virtually present at the next hearing scheduled on August 31.
It is learnt that the request for allowing the duo to be present at the hearing was made by the two correctional home authorities where the two are currently housed. While the authorities of the Presidency Central Correctional Home made this appeal for Chatterjee, their counterparts for Alipore Women’s Correctional Home made the plea on behalf of Mukherjee.
State Correctional Department sources said that every time the two are presented at the court, the people there get agitated and start shouting “Thieves, Thieves” slogans directing them. There had been an instance where a woman hurled her slippers at Chatterjee while he was taken to the ESI Hospital at Joka for medical check-up.
“We apprehend that if the agitated crowd goes out of control, some more serious incident might take place. So, accordingly the correctional home authorities made an appeal to the court for allowing them virtual presence at the hearing, which the court has allowed,” a department official said.