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West Bengal Coal Scam- Delhi High Court Seeks ED's Response On Inspector's Plea Challenging Trial Court Summons In Money Laundering Case

Nupur Thapliyal
24 Sep 2021 4:25 AM GMT
West Bengal Coal Scam- Delhi High Court Seeks EDs Response On Inspectors Plea Challenging Trial Court Summons In Money Laundering Case
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The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Enforcement Directorate on the plea filed by Ashok Kumar Mishra, inspector-in-charge of West Bengal police challenging the summons issued to him by a Trial Court here in connection with a money laundering case related to West Bengal coal scam.Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice on the plea while listing the matter for further hearing on...

The Delhi High Court has sought response of the Enforcement Directorate on the plea filed by Ashok Kumar Mishra, inspector-in-charge of West Bengal police challenging the summons issued to him by a Trial Court here in connection with a money laundering case related to West Bengal coal scam.

Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice on the plea while listing the matter for further hearing on October 22.

The plea filed through Advocates Vaibhav Tomar and Ridhima Mandhar states that vide the impugned order, Special Judge of the Rouse Avenue Court hadwrongly issued summons and erred in taking cognizance of the offence under sec. 3 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

"The Impugned Order was passed in a mechanical manner without considering that the complaint does not disclose how the jurisdiction of the Ld. Special Court in New Delhi is made out," the plea said.

Pursuant to the FIR registered by CBI, an ECIR was registered under sec. 3 and 4 of the PMLA by the Kolkata Zonal Office of the Enforcement Directorate. It was the case of Mishra that he was neither named in FIR nor in the ECIR.

Another FIR was then registered by CBI ACB Kolkata againstvarious employees of Eastern Coalfields Ltd alleging that extensive illegal mining and illegal transportation and sale of coal was taking place in the leasehold areas of Eastern Coalfields Ltd. located in the areas of the West Burdwan District in the State of West Bengal and that the said operation was being run by Anup Majee.

The case against Mishra was that he received large sums of money from Anup Majee between the period of 09.06.2020 to 26.09.2020 at Bankura, West Bengal. He was thereafter arrested by ED from its Delhi Office.

Mishra was sent to judicial custody in April, 2021 and his bail application was rejected in May, 2021 subsequent to which a bail plea was filed in High Court which is presently pending.

"That a bare perusal of the Complaint and the allegations therein would show that the entire cause of action in the instant case had arisen in the State of West Bengal and not New Delhi and hence the Ld. Special Court lacked the requisite territorial jurisdiction to take cognizance and issue summons to the Petitioner," the plea adds.
"..the cause of action of the scheduled offence, alleged generations of proceeds of crime, alleged laundering of the proceeds of crime and registration of the FIR, all occurred in the State of West Bengal and hence, in view of the provisions of the PMLA in this regard and discussed herein below, the Impugned Order is liable to be quashed and set aside by this Hon'ble Court," it adds.

In another development, summons have also been issued to All India Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife in the case. 

However, on approaching the High Court for quashing the summons, the Court had refused to grant interim relief to the duo.

Title: ASHOK KUMAR MISHRA v. DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT (represented by its Assistant Director)

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