The Enforcement Directorate has moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the notices, issued by West Bengal Police, to its officials performing their statutory functions in Delhi.
The ED is investigating the illegal coal mining case and the role of the complainant TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee under the PMLA Act in the New Delhi Headquarters.
The impugned notices dated August 21, 2021 and July 22, 2021 were issued under sec. 160 CrPC. In view of this, the plea states thus:
"In a very surprising manner, the Petitioner/s 2- 4 received 3 Notices in the names of 3 Assistant Directors as mentioned above on date 23.07.2021 served by a special messenger. It is pertinent to mention that these three officers/ the Petitioner/s 2- 4 were associated with the investigation of the instant case in which Shri Abhishek Banerjee is one of the beneficiaries of the illegal coal mining."
"The complainant in the instant FIR is a political heavy weight and enjoys clout in the State Government of West Bengal. The West Bengal Police is acting at his behest to derail the investigation being carried out by Enforcement Directorate."
The plea therefore avers that the FIR as well as the impugned notices are an abuse of the process of law which have been issued in a malafide manner with the "oblique motive and intent at stifling the fair and impartial investigation being undertaken by Enforcement Directorate for unearthing large financial scams".
"That the impugned notice issued under Section 160 ( 1) of CRPC can only be issued to a person who is within the local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the jurisdiction or any adjoining police station. However in the present case the petitioners are posted in Delhi which is clearly outside the jurisdiction of police officer," the Plea adds.
The FIR was registered by CBI, Kolkata on 27th November last year against various persons under 120B, 409 of the IPC and section 13(2)r/w section 13(1)(a) of the P.C. Act, 1988.
"In order to pressurize the Petitioners / IOs, investigating the case related to illegal coal mining, Abhishek Banerjee lodged an FIR on date 05.04.2021, against a News Channel and in furtherance of the same, notices have been issued to the IOs investigating the case of illegal coal mining by the West Bengal Police," the petition submits.
The ED has also submitted that the FIR was registered with a malafide intention to derail the investigation under PMLA being conducted by the Directorate of Enforcement.
The petition will be heard on September 21.
Title: ED & Ors. v. State of West Bengal & Ors.