18 Sep 2021 4:11 AM GMT
All India Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife have approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of summons issued to them by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with West Bengal coal scam case.Filed through Advocates Rupin Bahl and Angad Mehta, the petition states that both Banerjee and his wife have not been named neither in the CBI FIR nor in the complaint...
All India Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife have approached the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of summons issued to them by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with West Bengal coal scam case.
Filed through Advocates Rupin Bahl and Angad Mehta, the petition states that both Banerjee and his wife have not been named neither in the CBI FIR nor in the complaint registered by the ED in New Delhi under sec. 45 of PMLA.
The plea therefore states that the agency "cannot assume investigative powers in respect of allegations of money laundering arising in the scheduled offence as the same could only have been investigated into by the concerned zonal office at Kolkata."
In view of this, the plea seeks to quash summons issued by the ED dated 10th September 2021 under sec. 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and further directing ED to not summon them in New Delhi and to carry out any further examination qua the two in Kolkata, West Bengal.
The CBI had registered an FIR in respect to alleged offences of illegal mining and theft of coal from the leasehold areas of Eastern Coalfields Ltd committed in the state of West Bengal by certain individuals. Pursuant to this, ED has registered an ECIR in the Head Investigative Unit located in New Delhi.
"The Respondent has repeatedly summoned the Petitioner No. 1 and 2, for examination in person, at New Delhi without supplying a copy of the ECIR and without specifying whether the Petitioners are being summoned as witnesses or accused, nor indicating the scope of the investigation being carried out. It is submitted that the Respondent cannot be allowed to exercise the threat of prosecution and penalty inherent under Section 50 of the PMLA to coerce persons to become witnesses against themselves and violate the fundamental protection under Article 20(3) of the Constitution of India, 1950," the plea states.
It adds thus:
"The Petitioners further have serious apprehensions about the fairness of the investigation being conducted by the Respondent owing to the fact that the Respondent 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 plea also states that the Agency is selectively leaking information to the media "with the intent of harming their reputation and encouraging a media trial in order to falsely embroil them in baseless and scandalous allegations."
Title: ABHISHEK BANERJEE AND ANR. v. DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT, REPRESENTED BY ITS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR