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Wednesday, February 24, 2021

SC seeks Centre, CBI reply in plea challenging jurisdiction to probe ‘illegal mining’ in West Bengal

Asking the Centre and CBI to file their reply by March 1, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, however, refused to grant relief to accused Anup Majee, director of the coal trading company facing the charges.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: February 23, 2021 2:27:51 am
Security deployed outside Abhishek Banerjee's residence on Monday.

Hearing a plea against a Calcutta High Court order sanctioning a CBI probe in an alleged illegal mining case in West Bengal without the state’s consent, the Supreme Court on Monday sought replies from the Centre and the investigating agency while refusing to grant protection from coercive action to an accused .

Asking the Centre and CBI to file their reply by March 1, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, however, refused to grant relief to accused Anup Majee, director of the coal trading company facing the charges.

The petition pointed out that West Bengal had in 2018 withdrawn general consent to CBI for probing cases in the state and that the agency therefore lacked jurisdiction to lodge FIR.

Appearing for the accused petitioner, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi contended that the charges against him were politically motivated. He submitted that the February 12 order of the HC division bench, which stayed a single bench order restraining the agency from going ahead with the probe, was without any jurisdiction.

Appearing for West Bengal, Senior advocate A M Singhvi submitted that he supported the petitioner’s argument on the point of law as CBI was not given consent to probe.

The bench observed that as the state as well as the petitioner are aggrieved, CBI will also have to be heard.

While Rohatgi prayed for interim protection to his client, the court did not pass any order granting the relief.

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