WBSSC scam: ED to grill suspected officers on assets details

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which will now conduct a parallel probe on the money trail angle in the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) scam, will begin its investigation with the interrogation of some of the erstwhile senior officers of the commission suspected of playing a key role in these swindling affairs.

However, unlike the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, who are conducting interrogation on the overall peccadillo, ED sleuths will restrict their questions relating to the grey areas in their books of accounts, suspected transactions in the bank accounts held by them and their family members, their property details and more especially disproportionate assets to their income.

It has been learnt that the ED probe officials, the investigation arm of the Union finance ministry, have plans to interrogate the suspects in the scam in multiple phases.

In the first phase, they will be questioning the suspected WBSSC officials, especially the members of the screening committee, who are perceived to be the key masterminds and implementers of the scam. Specially under scanner will be the accounts and asset details of S.P. Singh, former advisor of the said screening committee. In this process, the report of the Calcutta High Court-appointed judicial committee that had clearly held the screening committee members as the main perpetrators behind the scam, will come handy for the ED officials on this count.

In the second phase, those securing jobs flouting norms and against payments of under-the-table payments will have to face the grilling of the central agency sleuths. In this phase, ED sleuths might also question a section of the petitioners who filed petitions at the Calcutta High Court. The ED would like to know from them about their points of suspicions that prompted them to file petitions challenging the recruitments.

In the third and final round, former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general, Partha Chatterjee and the current West Bengal minister of state for education, Paresh Chandra Adhikari might have to face the questioning. The CBI has already questioned Chatterjee and Adhikari more than once pertaining to the WBSSC recruitment irregularities scam.

The ED has recently been roped in the probe process. The decision was prompted by the fact that ED officials are better equipped with expertise to track the money trail in any scam.

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