Abhishek Banerjee questions timing of Delhi court order and ED’s neutrality in Bengal coal scam | Latest India News
It can’t be a coincidence that the Delhi High Court has quashed his appeal for failing to appear before the Law Enforcement (ED) Directorate in Delhi in the Bengal coal smuggling case after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won assembly polls in four states, Trinamool Congress (TMC), National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee alleged on Sunday before flying to the nation’s capital to face the agency. ‘investigation.
“I’ll see where it ends. I moved Delhi High Court last year saying ED cannot summon me to Delhi for questioning because the case is Bengal related. The court heard my appeal for four months and then reserved its order for the next three months. On March 10, the BJP won the polls in four states. On March 11, the court overturned my appeal. It can’t be a coincidence. I will move the Supreme Court,” Abhishek Banerjee said at Kolkata airport.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and Banerjee’s wife Rujira were summoned to the ED office in Delhi on Monday and Tuesday respectively. Both had moved the Delhi high court, seeking permission to face the agency in Kolkata.
A new summons was sent to the couple on March 15. “I received an email,” Abhishek said.
Shortly after the Banerjee flight took off, Kolkata police officials said three Delhi-based ED officials investigating coal and cattle smuggling cases were summoned to the police station in Kolkata on Monday. Kalighat, South Kolkata, to be questioned in another case.
“This relates to a telephone conversation that took place over a year ago between a Kolkata-based accountant and an emergency service officer. We have received a recording of the conversation,” an officer from Kolkata Police on condition of anonymity without disclosing details.
ED officials said the officers were summoned at 10 a.m. Monday to appear as witnesses.
Before leaving for Delhi, Abhishek Banerjee alleged that the BJP was waging a political vendetta because it could not win the assembly and civic body elections in Bengal.
“The BJP cannot tolerate the TMC. If ED had been neutral, he would have interviewed the man who was seen accepting money in Narada’s scam videos. Sudipto Sen (the owner of the Saradha voucher fund who is in jail) made a statement in court and named the person who took money from him. But the accused was not questioned once. As I said over a year ago, if anyone can prove that I have accepted even ten paisa from anyone, I will voluntarily walk to the gallows and hang myself,” said said Abhishek Banerjee.
Although he did not name anyone, Abhishek’s target was BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari who left the TMC in December 2020.
Adhikari was not available to comment, but Bengal BJP chief spokesman Samik Bhattacharya said his party could not comment on the issues raised by the TMC leader.
“If he has a complaint against a court, he must move the judiciary. We cannot comment on the Delhi High Court order. We also cannot say anything about the summons sent by the Kolkata police to the ED. The central agency will deal with it,” Bhattacharya said.
Abhishek Banerjee is not the only person wanted by central agencies in the coal scam case.
On March 16, a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in Asansol, West Burdwan district of Bengal, issued an arrest warrant in the same case against the former leader of the youth front and TMC businessman Vinay Mishra, who renounced his Indian citizenship in December 2020 and became a citizen of Vanuatu, a small island nation in the southwest Pacific.
The CBI had begged for the warrant, telling the court that Mishra was the prime suspect. His brother Vikas was arrested earlier by ED and named in the agency’s first indictment in August last year.
The CBI and ED are conducting parallel coal smuggling investigations.
CBI officials said that to execute the arrest warrant, the agency will need to engage in extradition talks with the Vanuatu government. India has an extradition treaty with the Republic of Vanuatu, an officer said.