ED asks TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee to appear before it again on March 29

06:31 PM Mar 24, 2022 | PTI |

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a fresh summons to TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, asking him to appear before it for questioning on March 29 in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam in West Bengal, officials said on Thursday.


The agency will continue to record the statement of Banerjee (34) in the case lodged under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary and nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was questioned by ED officials for about eight hours here on Monday (March 21).

That was the second time he was questioned in the case. He was first grilled by ED officials in September last year.

Banerjee’s role and links with the other accused in the case are being investigated, ED officials had said.


While leaving the ED office on Monday, the TMC leader told reporters that he was a ”law-abiding citizen” and hence, had ”cooperated” in the investigation.

He alleged that probe agencies such as the ED, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Income Tax department are being used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ”scare the opposition and its political personalities”.

The last ED summons against Banerjee and his wife Rujira was issued after the Delhi High Court, on March 11, dismissed a plea moved by the couple, challenging the notices asking them to appear before the agency in Delhi instead of Kolkata.

Rujira was asked to appear before the agency here on Tuesday (March 22), but she did not turn up.

Banerjee had said his wife had to take care of their two-and-a-half-year-old kid and hence, was unable to travel to Delhi.

However, the ED can question her in Kolkata and she is ”willing” to cooperate, he had said.

The TMC leader also filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court on Monday, challenging the ED summonses asking the couple to appear before the agency in Delhi.

The ED lodged the case on the basis of a November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore-rupee coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Limited mines in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.

Local coal operator Anup Majhi alias Lala is the prime suspect in the case.

The ED had claimed that Banerjee was a beneficiary of the funds obtained from this illegal trade.

The agency has so far made two arrests in the case. One of the arrested accused is Vikas Mishra, the brother of TMC’s youth wing leader Vinay Mishra who is stated to have left the country and renounced his Indian citizenship.

The other arrested accused is former inspector in-charge of the Bankura police station Ashok Kumar Mishra.

The agency had claimed that documents seized by it show that ”Majhi assisted in transferring substantial funds derived from the proceeds of crime to Abhishek Banerjee’s close relatives (wife and sister-in-law) at London and Thailand”.


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