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Setback for TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee as Delhi HC dismisses his petition challenging ED summons in Coal Scam, wife’s in PMLA case: Details

The Enforcement Directorate had submitted before a special court alleging that incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, TMC MP from Diamond Harbor Abhishek Banerjee and his family received illicit funds from illegal coal mining in the state.

In a big setback to Trinamool Congress (TMC) Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee and his wife, the Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the petition filed by them challenging the summons issued to them by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a case related to the coal scam in West Bengal.

According to the reports, single-judge Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar has also dismissed another plea by Rujira Banerjee in which she had challenged the ED’s complaint with the Rouse Avenue court for her non-appearance and the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s (CMM) order taking cognisance of the same.

The ED had summoned TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, a Member of Parliament from the Diamond Harbour seat, and his wife Rujira Banerjee to appear before the investigating officer of the case on September 10. In addition, Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Abhishek Banerjee, was also asked to appear before them in a case registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The ED had accused TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee of being a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. However, he has denied all charges. It was alleged that the present case involves money laundering to the tune of Rs.1,300 crores.

In their petition, the TMC leader and his wife argued that the news of summons being issued was put in the public domain even before they were served, proving the ED’s mala-fide intentions.

They claimed that as the petitioners are residents of Kolkata, they can only be examined by ED officers under Section 50 of PMLA at Kolkata.

Rejecting the arguments, the court held that the authorities under the PMLA are not restricted as per the territorial caskets envisaged under the CrPC and added that the authorities would naturally exercise jurisdiction depending upon the exigencies of special investigation.

The court said that while Section 160 of CrPC is limited to witnesses or who may become accused in the future, Section 50 of PMLA operates on a larger level that includes the power not only to summon witnesses but to summon and enforce the attendance of any person.

Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek and his family benefitted from the coal scam: ED

Earlier, the Enforcement Directorate had submitted before a special court alleging that incumbent Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, TMC MP from Diamond Harbor Abhishek Banerjee and his family received illicit funds from illegal coal mining in the state. It further stated that the “deep system” of political patronage driven by “well-oiled” machinery made it possible.

The ED, in this remand note, alleged that certain illegal mining instances were flourishing in the state under the “patronage” of the political party in power. The note, which was a remand note seeking enhanced custody of a West Bengal police officer Ashok Kumar Mishra, the inspector in charge of Bankura police station, had a detailed mention of these allegations.

The policeman had led the agency to the prime suspect – Majhi alias Lala, a local trader, Vinay, a TMC youth wing leader, and his brother Vikas Mishra. The ED had stated that the link goes all the way up to Abhishek Banerjee’s family.

In the statement informed, the ED had said, “it is further revealed that in a span of fewer than two years, an amount to the tune of Rs Majhi has illegally generated 1,352 crores through illegal coal mining. The investigation also revealed a deep system of political patronage and well-oiled network by which the system was subverted to carry out these illegal activities in a brazen manner.”

On the basis of a recorded statement of an unidentified “close associate” of Majhi, the ED alleged that the kingpin of this coal scam ran the “illegal coal mining business smoothly by managing senior functionaries of the political party of West Bengal though Inspector Mishra.”

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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