TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, wife move Delhi HC against ED
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira on Friday moved the Delhi high court, seeking quashing of summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its investigation into an alleged coal scam.
In their petition, Banerjee and Rujira have sought direction to the agency to not summon them to New Delhi and carry out investigation in Kolkata, stating they are permanent residents of the city and that the case pertains to West Bengal.
Claiming that the ED probe is based on a case registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with respect to offences allegedly having taken place in West Bengal, the TMC’s national general secretary and his wife moved the high court.
According to the petition, ED on September 10, issued fresh summons to Banerjee under section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 requiring his personal appearance along with a voluminous set of documents on September 21 in New Delhi.
The petition, which is likely to be heard on September 21, said a greater degree of protection is granted to a woman under Section 160 of the CrPC, which mandates that she shall not be required to attend any place other than where she resides.
Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and a Lok Sabha MP, appeared before ED on September 6 in New Delhi on a summons by the agency.
He was summoned by the ED again on September 21 in New Delhi after he did not visit the agency’s office at the national capital on a summons for September 8, saying that he was unable to travel at a short notice. Rujira Banerjee, who had also been summoned by the agency in the first week of September, did not go as well, writing to the ED that being a mother, she cannot travel at such short notice and requested the agency to interview her at her residence in Kolkata.
ED lodged a case under the provisions of the PMLA on the basis of a November 2020 FIR registered by CBI that claimed a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.
Local coal operative Anup Majhi alias Lala is alleged to be the prime suspect in the case.