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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, wife move Delhi HC against ED

Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee have sought a direction that they be not summoned to Delhi and any further examination of them be carried out only in Kolkata.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 18, 2021 9:39:30 am
Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and a Lok Sabha MP, appeared before the ED on September 6 in New Delhi on a summons by the agency. (Photo: PTI/File)

TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee have approached Delhi High Court against the summons issued to them by Enforcement Directorate on Sept. 10 under Section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002. The couple have sought a direction that they be not summoned to Delhi and any further examination of them be carried out only in Kolkata.

They have been summoned in a money laundering case registered by the agency in connection with CBI’s alleged case of illegal mining and theft of coal from the leasehold areas of Eastern Coalfields Ltd, according to the petition filed before the court.

Abhishek and Rujira have argued before the court that there exists no jurisdiction for the ED’s Delhi-based Head Investigative Unit to assume investigative powers in the case “as the same could only have been investigated into by the concerned zonal office at Kolkata”.

Submitting that they have been repeatedly summoned to Delhi, the petition argues that the couple must be examined in Kolkata in compliance of provisions of PMLA and CrPC. “That a greater degree of protection is granted to a woman under Section 160 Cr.P.C., which mandates that a woman shall not be required to attend any place other than where she resides. That the repeated issuance of summons to the Petitioner No. 2 who is a lady, to appear before the Respondent is ex facie illegal and mala fide and hence intervention of this Hon’ble Court is sought before coercive measures are resorted to by the Respondent,” it reads.

Alleging that they have serious apprehensions about the fairness of the investigation being conducted by the ED, the couple have also claimed  that the agency is adopting a pick and choose attitude “with respect to certain persons and is giving undue benefit and protection to complicit individuals and in return extracting false, baseless and malicious statements from them.”

The couple have also accused the ED of selectively leaking information to the media “with the intent of harming” their reputation.

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