New Delhi: The Supreme Court has permitted Enforcement Directorate for interrogating Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee in an alleged coal theft case in West Bengal. The SC has asked the Bengal Government to cooperate with the agency. It has also asked to provide protection to its officials when they are in the state for questioning the TMC Leader.
The probe agency should inform Abhishek Banerjee at least 24 hours before they intend to question him, according to SC.
The ED can go to SC only if the investigators ran into any “obstruction” linked to the Bengal government. The SC bench of Justice UU Lalit said it won’t “tolerate any kind of obstruction and interference by the state machinery.”
Banerjee has appealed that he should be questioned at his home state and not in Delhi, where the agency has its headquarters. He and his party workers have accused BJP for misusing agencies to harass TMC leaders.
The Supreme Court has also stayed the bailable warrant issued against Banerjee’s wife, Rujira Banerjee, on a complaint by the probe agency for not answering summons. She is one of the accused in the money laundering case linked to Bengal Coal scam.
On Ed’s plea, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria passed the order. The order was passed after the agency’s special public prosecutor Nitesh Rana told the court that the accused was not appearing before the court and probe agency. Several summons have been issued against her.
Under the provision of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, ED lodged a case. FIR was registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to the Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.
In the case, local coal operative Anup Majhi, alias Lala, is the prime suspect.
The Enforcement Directorate had previously claimed that Abhishek Banerjee was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade.He denied charges against him.
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