Bengal coal scam: Calcutta HC allows Maneka Gambhir to appear at ED’s Kolkata office

The Calcutta High Court on Monday allowed Maneka Gambhir, sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress’s national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, to appear for questioning at the Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s Kolkata office instead of its New Delhi office.

Earlier, the ED had summoned Gambhir at its Delhi office on September 5 for questioning on the coal smuggling scam. However, she had challenged the decision in the high court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya approved Gambhir’s prayer to appear for questioning at the ED office at the Central government office (CGO) complex at Salt Lake in the northern Kolkata on that date instead of the agency’s New Delhi office.

In the court, Gambhir’s counsel, Ayan Bhattachrya argued that when ED sleuths can question Abhishek Banerjee and his wife, Rujira Narula at the CGO Complex office, there was no reason to summon his client to New Delhi.

In his counter-argument, ED counsel Phiroze Edulji argued that since the main case in the matter has been filed at Delhi and since the investigation on coal smuggling case is not just restricted to Kolkata, Gambhir has been summoned at New Delhi. He also argued that there are certain important files in the case and there are problems in bringing those files to Kolkata.

Finally, after hearing both sides, Justice Bhattacharya approved Gambhir’s prayer for appearance at ED’s Kolkata office, and also said that the central agency sleuths should not take any drastic step against Gambhir.

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