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A special court in Kolkata on Friday sent former education minister of West Bengal Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee to 14 days judicial custody by in the SSC scam case. Notably, Special PMLA court judge Jibon Kumar Sadhu granted 14 days' judicial remand of Chatterjee and Mukherjee on a prayer by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), according to news agency PTI report.

This development comes after the court rejected a bail prayer of the former minister Partha Chaterjee and directed that both the accused be produced on August 18 when the matter will be heard again, while noting that the allegations are serious in nature with recoveries of huge quantities of cash, gold, properties, bank accounts and other documents during the ED custody of the two accused and that the investigation is at an initial stage, the court rejected the bail prayer, the report said.

Additionally, the report highlighted that the Kolkata court directed the superintendent of the Presidency correctional home, where Partha Chatterjee is to be lodged, and the superintendent of women's correctional home at Alipore, where Arpita Mukherjee was directed to be lodged, to allow the investigating officer of the case to interrogate them. The correctional home superintendents were directed to render all necessary cooperation to the investigators and to submit reports in court on the next date of hearing, the report said.

Judge Sadhu allowed prayers of lawyers of both the ED and Mukherjee for direction to the superintendent of women correctional home for steps to ensure her safety and security. Chatterjee and Mukherjee have been in ED's remand since their arrest on July 23 in connection with its probe into the money trail in illegal recruitments done by the School Service Commission (SSC) for West Bengal government-sponsored and aided schools, as per the PTI report.

The ED has claimed that it recovered 49.80 crore in cash, jewellery and gold bars from apartments owned by Mukherjee, besides documents of properties and a company in joint holding. The duo is facing charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Claiming that Chatterjee is not an influential person anymore, his lawyer prayed that he be released on bail on any condition imposed by the court, the report added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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