For the second time in three days Ruia Group chairman Pawan Ruia failed to appear before the CID team probing the repeated incidents of fire at the company’s Jessop factory in Dum Dum. Ruia, who is also the “proprietor” of Jessop & Company, has sought two weeks’ time as he is currently “out of the state on a business tour”, a senior CID official said.
“We will wait for two weeks. If he fails to appear even after that, we will send him a third notice. On failure to respond even then, the CID will move court and seek arrest warrant against Ruia,” the official said.
The CID had first summoned Ruia to its headquarters on Wednesday but he failed to appear.
On the same day, the Calcutta High Court had refused to quash the FIR in connection with the case in which Ruia is also named. Ruia had moved the Calcutta High Court seeking quashing of the case filed against him, claiming he is not the chairman of Jessop and he is neither the director nor a shareholder, or an occupier of Jessop and Co Ltd or any of its premises.
While refusing to stay the CID probe into the complaint against Ruia, the high court had asked police not to take any coercive measure against the industrialist so long as he cooperates with the sleuths.
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“Court had also directed him to cooperate in the investigation, so if he fails to show up after the third notice, it will be a clear violation of court’s order,” said the official, adding that the investigators need to know what steps were taken by the management of Jessop to ensure safety inside the factory premises and “hence it is important to interrogate Ruia”.
Meanwhile, two others — former general manager of factory’s finance department Ashok Agarwal and incumbent general manager Mahesh Gupta — Friday visited the CID office where they were interrogated till evening.
Dum Dum police had sou motu registered the case against Ruia and management of the factory a day after fire had broken out in the painting department of the vacant factory premises on October 17, the third such incident in two weeks.
A total of 16 people, including CEO of the firm Ashok Agarwal has been arrested in connection with the case. Agarwal was arrested by the Dum Dum police when during interrogation by the CID sleuths, it came to fore that he had 24 warrants pending against him.