New Delhi: Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira Banerjee has challenged in Delhi High Court, a trial court order directing her to appear before it physically on October 12, in connection with a coal smuggling case. The hearing in the matter was listed for Wednesday in Delhi High court before Justice Yogesh Khanna.
The hearing has now been adjourned for October 8 as the concerned bench didn't assemble on Wednesday. The concerned bench is also examining the Abhishek Banerjee petition challenging several summonses to the couple by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in the matter.
The petitioner is seeking the setting aside and quashing of the trial court orders dated 18.09.2021 and 30.09.2021 passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Patiala House District Court, issuing summons to the petitioner for her personal physical appearance in New Delhi.
The plea states that ED complaint against her deserves to be set aside for being false, malicious and vexatious. A perusal of the record would show that the impugned prosecution is a vindictive abuse of the process of law by the Respondent (ED) and hence deserves to be quashed at the threshold.
On September 30, 2021, Rujira Banerjee had appeared virtually citing personal reasons for travelling to Delhi before the Court. The court directed her to appear before it physically on October 12, 2021.
Appearing for ED, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had strongly opposed the petition filed by Abhishek Banerjee and Rujira Banerjee challenging ED Summons. Abhishek Banerjee was represented by senior lawyer Kapil Sibal in the matter.
The Enforcement Directorate probe
The Enforcement Directorate has summoned several individuals including Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira over the ongoing coal scam investigation.
the ED had accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and his family of benefitting from illicit funds obtained from certain illegal coal mining in the state under a "deep system" of political patronage driven by a "well-oiled" machinery. Both the CBI and the ED are investigating the multi-crore rupees coal smuggling scam and have previously made several arrests.
The CBI is of the view that the coal scam, arising out of illegal mining from abandoned mines of Eastern Coalfields, runs into several thousands of crores of rupees and part of the crime proceeds had been been transacted through the hawala route. the investigative body had questioned Rujira and Banerjee's sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir.
The Enforcement Directorate case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) was filed after studying a November, 2020 report of the CBI alleging a multi-crore coal pilferage scam.
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