School jobs scam: Arpita Mukherjee could be facing threat to her life, ED tells court

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Arpita Mukherjee, close aide of Partha Chatterjee, being produced at a court. (PTI)
KOLKATA: Sacked Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee's alleged "close associate" Arpita Mukherjee could be facing a threat to her life, the ED on Friday told a special court that remanded the duo in judicial custody for 14 days in the cash-for-jobs case. Model-actor Arpita's lawyer requested that food and water served to her in jail be tested as part of the security arrangements ordered by the court.
The court directed the Alipore Women's Correctional Home to submit a report on the security arranged for Arpita till August 18. She and ex-minister Chatterjee, arrested within hours of each other on July 23, were in the ED's custody until Friday.

Arpita's counsel pleaded that his client be treated as "a division I jail inmate", which would entitle her to a separate room, bed, chair, table and other facilities. He didn't move a bail petition. ED officials said Chatterjee was in "denial mode" throughout his 12-day stint in custody, while Arpita was cooperating.

In successive raids on premises belonging to Arpita before and after her arrest, the ED seized almost Rs 50 crore in cash along with lakhs worth of valuables and foreign currency from two apartments in Kolkata.
Seeking judicial remand for the duo, ED lawyers told the court that over 50 bank accounts suspected to be part of the cash-for-jobs money trail were being scanned. The court authorised it to question them again in jail.
Chatterjee's counsel pleaded for bail to the former minister, saying he was "even ready to resign as MLA and wouldn't abscond". "There was no recovery of cash or valuables from his residence. He has been framed," the counsel said. The court turned down the bail petition.
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