A WEST Bengal Criminal Investigation Department (CID) team on Saturday arrested industrialist and Ruia Group Chairman Pawan Kumar Ruia from his New Delhi residence in a case of missing equipment from his factory near Kolkata. Ruia’s arrest came after he ignored CID’s four summons since October 26 in connection with investigations into repeated mysterious fires at his company’s Jessop factory in Dum Dum near Kolkata. The Calcutta High Court had refused to quash an FIR against him in October. Ruia had moved the court claiming that he was not Jessop’s chairman and insisted that he was “neither the director nor a shareholder, or an occupier of Jessop and Co Ltd (JCL) or any of its premises”.
Watch what else is making news
Ruia, who was being taken to Kolkata on Saturday night, was booked along with the factory’s managerial staff under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and West Bengal Fire Services Act-1950 on October 18. The second FIR that the fire department lodged does not implicate Ruia directly. Ruia had evaded the CID claiming that he was unwell. “We were keeping a watch on his movements. He had said he was ill but it was all false,’’ Additional Director General (CID) Rajesh Kumar told The Indian Express. “This is the first arrest in this case. We will appeal for his custody at least for 14 days.’’
Deputy Inspector General (CID) B L Meena said that Ruia was arrested on the basis of a complaint that the Railways had filed at Dum Dum police station. “He has been booked under Section 420 (cheating and dishonestly), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of the IPC.’’ The Railways had filed the FIR against Ruia after an inspection team found several equipment and coaches worth Rs 50 crore missing from the factory. Ruia’s firm had a Railway contract to build air-conditioned rakes.
Sources said that three CID officers were rushed to Delhi on November 12 to verify Ruia’s medical reports after the investigators learnt about the industrialist being discharged from hospital. Another team was sent to Delhi to monitor his movements since Ruia had asked for time to appear before CID officials citing illness. The Delhi Police assisted the CID in arresting Ruia. “After the West Bengal CID team approached us, a police team went along with them… After completing legal formalities, we handed Ruia over to the CID,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Romil Baniya.
A Barrackpore court had told CID that Ruia could be arrested without a warrant. “The IO (investigating officer) is at every liberty to arrest the accused person and to justify his action before the court,’’ the court had said. It cited the high court’s order that no coercive action be taken as long as the accused cooperates and added that he could be arrested without its intervention if CID proved that Ruia was not cooperating.