WB coal scam: ED stand sought on Bengal cop’s plea against summons in money laundering case

  • | Wednesday | 22nd September, 2021

New Delhi, Sep 22 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought the Enforcement Directorate"s stand on a plea by a West Bengal police officer against a trial court summons to him in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam in the state. Justice Yogesh Khanna issued notice to ED on Inspector Ashok Kumar Mishra Mishra’s plea and listed the matter for further hearing on October 22. Mishra is presently on interim bail, “Issue notice. The learned standing counsel for respondent accepts notice and seeks time to file the reply. Reply be filed within 10 days from today with an advance copy to the learned counsel for the petitioner,” said the judge. Advocate Amit Mahajan appeared for the agency and senior counsel Vikas Pahwa appeared for Mishra. In his petition, the cop has argued that in its June 28 order, the trial court “wrongly issued the summons and erred in taking cognizance” of the offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and passed the order “without application of mind”. He also contended that a Delhi trial court has no jurisdiction to entertain the ED"s complaint as the offences are alleged to have taken place in West Bengal. “The scheduled offence in the instant case was registered by the CBI ACB Kolkata on November 27, 2020, for the alleged illegal coal mining and theft being carried out in the leasehold areas of Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Kanustoria and Kajora areas of the West Burdwan District in the state of West Bengal,” the plea stated. “The impugned order will also show that the Special Judge has vaguely stated that both the accused persons have directly and intentionally indulged in money laundering activities but completely ignored the place where the alleged activities took place and wrongly assumed jurisdiction over the state of West Bengal,” it is added. Mishra, the inspector-in-charge of the Bankura police station, was arrested on April 3 by the ED and is accused of receiving crores of rupees from Anoop Majee alias Lala which he was stated to have transferred to Delhi and abroad. Majee is alleged to be the kingpin in the West Bengal coal scam cases. In May, his bail plea was rejected by Special Judge Virender Bhat who observed that the material collected during the investigation in the case so far, prima-facie showed involvement of the accused in the offence of money laundering to the tune of more than 100 crores of rupees. “At the time of the commission of the offence, he was posted as inspector-in-charge of the Bankuna Police Station. His job was to prevent the illegal activities but it appears that he himself became a part of the coal mafia. The allegations against him are very serious,” the judge had said. He was granted interim bail by the high court on July 3 on medical grounds. ED has also issued the summons in the case to TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee. PTI ADS RAX RAX

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