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Coal smuggling scam: Calcutta HC rules out parallel probe by CID West Bengal

Justice Mantha also observed that if CID gets any separate clue in the matter, it might pass on the same to the investigating team of CBI.

IANS | Kolkata |

A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday ruled out the requirement of any parallel probe by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of West Bengal police in the multi-crore coal smuggling case in the state.

Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed that when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was already probing the coal smuggling case, a parallel probe by the CID-West Bengal in the matter was unnecessary. Justice Mantha also observed that if CID gets any separate clue in the matter, it might pass on the same to the investigating team of CBI.

Justice Mantha passed this judgement on a petition filed by BJP leader from Asansol, Jitendra Tiwari challenging a summon from CID in the matter. In his petition, he raised the same point on justification of the parallel CID probe in the coal smuggling scam when CBI was already investigating the matter.

Justice Mantha also stayed CID from sending summons to Tiwari in this connection and observed that the petitioner cannot be summoned as witness in the matter by the state agency.

Tiwari is the former Trinamool Congress MLA from Pandaveswar assembly constituency in West Midnapore district from 2016 to 2021 and also the mayor of the Trinamool Congress Asansol Municipal Corporation. However, before the 2021 West Bengal assembly polls, he left the state’s ruling party and joined BJP.

On September 10, he received a notice from the CID-West Bengal asking him to be present for questioning at the state police headquarters in Kolkata. He challenged that summon at the Calcutta High Court, where his counsel, Pratik Dhar alleged that the CID summon was sent out of political vendetta since nowhere in the FIR on the coal smuggling scam his client was named as an accused.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths have already questioned Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary and party Lok Sabha member, Abhishek Banerjee thrice in the matter. Abhishek’s wife, Rujira Narula Banerjee and sister-in-law, Maneka Gambhir have also been questioned by ED sleuths in this connection.