Calcutta High Court on Thursday instructed Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife to appear before the Customs on April 8 regarding the controversy around her return from Thailand on March 16. However, the court ordered that customs authorities cannot take any coercive action against Banerjee’s wife Rujira Naroola. Abhishek Banerjee is the nephew of WB chief minister Mamata Banerjee and considered as number two in the party.
The principle commissioner of the Customs had on March 26 issued summons to Rujira Naroola for obstructing the customs authorities from performing their duties at the Kolkata airport under Section 133 of the Customs Act. The MP’s wife had filed a writ petition questioning the legality of the summons.
Appearing for the customs authorities, counsel Ravi Prakash and Bhaskar Prasad Banerjee argued that the petitioner holds Thai citizenship but has an Aadhar and PAN card as well. The lawyers asserted that during her interrogation many such oddities were found out.
Advocate Ravi Prakash said, “The court has commanded the petitioner to cooperate in the customs procedures. The court has said that this is only with regards to the summon which was issued. Also, the court said that before we take any coercive action, we will have to take leave of the court.”
According to the reports, Naroola was caught carrying 2 kg gold at Kolkata airport while returning from Thailand, which she had not declared. They even allegedly opposed and refused to allow their baggage to be searched. Allegedly, West Bengal police had intervened in the matter and prevented the customs authorities to take further actions on the instructions of Abhishek Banerjee. Refuting the allegations, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee accused BJP of gaining political mileage from spreading falsehoods before elections.