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Former TMC minister Partha Chatterjee given cot and chair after he sat on the jail commode till it broke: Here is what happened

As per the regulations, the inmates get only blankets, a ceiling fan, a commode and a water filter in the cell and no furniture. However, on August 6, jail authorities provided him with an iron cot and a chair to sit on.

On August 5, former Trinamool Congress (TMC) minister Partha Chatterjee was sent to 14-day judicial custody in connection to SSC Scam. Reports suggest that Partha spent most of the time sitting on the commode in his cell on the first night. Eventually, the commode broke down. Later, the authorities got the commode repaired and provided him with a chair to sit on.

He has been kept in the Presidency Central Correctional Home’s high-security Poila Baish section. This particular section in the prison is under 24×7 surveillance. High-profile criminals including the American Centre attack mastermind Aftab Ansari are housed in this section.

As per the regulations, the inmates get only blankets, a ceiling fan, a commode and a water filter in the cell and no furniture. However, on August 6, jail authorities provided him with an iron cot and a chair to sit on. A senior jail official was quoted by Indian Express saying, “Senior jail officials visited him (Partha Chatterjee) on Saturday afternoon. Thereafter, late in the afternoon, he was provided with an iron cot and a chair inside his cell. He is still having food prepared in jail, including roti, sabzi and dal for dinner and rice, roti, sabzi and dal for lunch.” Partha had requested the jail authorities for ‘chop-muri’ (puffed rice with potato fries) cooked in the prison that they had agreed to provide. There are questions now being raised about the special treatment that is potentially being extended to Partha Chaterjee given that he was provided with a cot and chair that other inmates are not given.

The senior officials in the prison have been directed to ensure minimal interaction between Chaterjee and others including inmates. They are visiting him every hour to keep an eye on his activities.

On the other hand, Arpita Mukherjee, co-accused in the case, has been housed in the Alipur Women’s Central Correctional Home is located five minutes away from the Presidency Central Correctional Home. Jail officials told Indian Express on Saturday that Mukherjee kept crying since she was brought to the correction home and did not eat anything.

SSC Scam

The West Bengal Teacher’s recruitment scam, more commonly referred to as the SSC scam, looks into the recruitment process conducted through the State Level Selection Test (SLT) conducted by SSC from 2014 to 2016.

The West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) announced in 2014 that teachers would be hired at state-run schools in West Bengal through the State Level Selection Test (SLST), which is when the alleged scam first surfaced. In 2016, the hiring process got underway. At that time, Partha Chatterjee was the Minister-in-Charge of the West Bengal Department of Higher Education and School Education. Nevertheless, a number of complaints were submitted to the Calcutta High Court citing irregularities in the hiring procedure.

The petitioners alleged that many examinees who got lesser marks ranked high on the merit list. Several claims also surfaced regarding the receipt of appointment letters by some applicants who weren’t even on the merit list.

During the investigation, the Enforcement Directorate recovered a little over Rs 50 crores in cash and Rs 4.31 crore worth of gold from multiple locations linked to Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of arrested cabinet minister Partha Chatterjee. Several raids were conducted on the properties linked to the case. Chatterjee was arrested by ED on July 23.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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