Suvendu Adhikari skips CID summon; gets interim relief from Calcutta HC
Leader of the opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari did not appear before the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the probe into the death of his bodyguard, even as the Calcutta high court stayed the fresh probe initiated by the CID after three years, his lawyers said.
“The Calcutta high court has stayed the fresh probe initiated by the CID, three years after the death of Adhikari’s security body-guard in 2018,” said B Bhattacharya, Adhikari’s lawyer.
He also said that the court also put a stay on the two other cases in which Adhikari has been named. While one pertains to post-poll violence in Nandigram, another is a snatching case at Panskura.
“In two other cases, the court has said that investigators can question him at a place of Adhikari’s choice but would not be able to take any coercive action. In future too if any fresh cases are lodged, coercive actions can’t be taken against Adhikari without the court’s permission,” Bhattacharya added.
Earlier in the day, Adhikari was summoned by the CID for questioning in connection with the death case of his bodyguard. Adhikari, however, sent an email to the investigating agency saying that he has some political engagements due to which he would be unable to appear for questioning.
In July, the CID initiated a fresh probe into the death of Adhikari’s security guard who reportedly died by suicide in 2018, officials said. The victim’s wife had lodged a complaint demanding a fresh probe.
“We have to see the high court’s order first, to comment on it. But what I came to know is that in some of the cases the court has kept the option open wherein Adhikari may be questioned by the police. He wanted to avoid any kind of investigation. The court didn’t allow it,” said Kunal Ghosh, TMC spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who happens to be the nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Monday in connection with the alleged multi-crore coal smuggling scam.
Earlier, the central agency had summoned Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee for questioning in the same case. Rujira Banerjee, however, had expressed her inability to appear before the agency in New Delhi citing the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. She had instead requested ED officials to visit her residence in Kolkata.
On November 27, 2020, the CBI’s Kolkata Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) registered a case of corruption and criminal breach of trust with regard to illegal mining and pilferage of coal from Eastern Coalfields Ltd (ECL). The ED took up the investigation based on the FIR registered by the CBI.