A CBI team today visited the residence of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s sisterin-law, Menaka Gambhir to examine her in connection with the coal pilferage case, officials said.
Two woman officers of the CBI examined Gambhir for nearly three hours at her residence off Eastern Metropolitan Bypass after a notice was served to her on Sunday. The CBI officers of the agency’s anti-corruption branch sought to ascertain her financial accounts, sources said.
Gambhir is the sister of Abhishek Banerjee’s wife, Rujira Banerjee who had told the CBI earlier in the day that she will be available for examination in connection with the case at her residence in Harish Mukherjee Road between 11 am to 3 pm on 23 February.
Rujira today responded to the CBI’s summons in the alleged coal pilferage scam and asked the central agency to send its team to her residence for examination on Tuesday, officials said. The CBI had on Sunday asked her to join the probe.
A team of CBI officials had visited the residence of Abhishek Banerjee, a nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, on Sunday to deliver the summons but Rujira was not present.
She responded to the summons on Monday and asked the CBI to visit her residence between 11 am and 3 pm on Tuesday.
“Though I am unaware of the reason for me being called for questioning or the subject matter of the investigation, you may visit my residence as per your convenience between 11 am and 3 pm tomorrow, i.e. 23 February, 2021,” she said in her letter to CBI.
“You are requested to kindly inform me your schedule,” she said.
The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket Anup Maji alias Lala, Eastern Coalfield Ltd general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai besides ECL chief of security Tanmay Das, area security inspector, Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai and SSI and security in-charge Kajor area Debashish Mukherjee. It is alleged that accused Lala is involved in the illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas, sources said.
Meanwhile, state municipal affairs minister Firhad Hakim denied any ED summons to his elder daughter Priyadarshini. “No such summons have been issues against my daughter. This is nothing but vindictive politics by the Centre. If any such summon is issued, we will move court to file defamation suit against the agency.” ED source said summon notice has been issued to Hakim’s elder daughter in connection with the coal and cattle smuggling money trail being probed under Prevention of money laundering Act (PMLA).