A special Public Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court, which sent former minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee to 14 days of judicial custody on Friday, permitted the Enforcement Directorate sleuths to question the two in the respective correctional homes in connection with the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.
The court said that ED’s investigation officers will talk to the correctional home Superintendents and the latter will have to permit the central agency sleuths to interrogate Chatterjee and Mukherjee. While Chatterjee has been sent to the Presidency Central Correctional Home, Mukherjee has been sent to the Alipore Women’s Correctional Home.
While hearing in the matter, ED counsel, Feroze Edulji especially stressed on the permission for the central agency officials to integrate the two during the judicial custody day.
The court also directed the Superintendent of Alipore Women’s Correctional Home, where Mukherjee will be housed, to ensure her full security during her judicial custody. The prison official concerned also directed to update the court on the safety measures adopted on August 18 when the duo will again be presented at the same court.
During the hearing, counsel for both ED and Mukherjee expressed apprehension of threats to her life in prison. While her counsel demanded a first division prisoner status for her, ED counsel appealed that that the food and liquid that will be served to her should be examined first and then served.
Although the court did not specify about the first division prisoner status, it directed the Superintendent of the correctional home concerned to ensure her safety.