Calcutta HC allows CBI officer charged by CID to be part of coal smuggling probe

In a major relief to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), a single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday allowed CBI officer Umesh Kumar, who was recently charged with intimidation by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), to continue to be part of the team probing the multi-crore coal smuggling scam in West Bengal.

The single-judge bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri also extended the stay on any kind of investigation or action by the CID against Kumar till December.

On June 21, a person named Haiber Akhan had filed a complaint at Bishnupur police station under Diamond Harbour sub-division in South 24 Parganas district accusing Kumar, the chief investigating officer in the coal smuggling case, of intimidation.

Akhan had alleged that he was called to the CBI office in Kolkata as a witness and after he reached there, he was intimidated by Kumar and his associates.

On June 29, the matter came up for hearing before the Calcutta High Court where CBI counsel Samrat Goswami argued that the FIR was filed on the basis of false allegations.

Goswami also alleged that the ‘motivated’ FIR was filed intentionally to influence and create hurdles in the process of investigation into the coal smuggling scam.

The court then stayed the investigation against Kumar and on Tuesday, it further extended the stay.

Incidentally, Kumar was part of the CBI team which went to the residence of Trinamool Congress national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on June 14 to question his wife Rujira Narula Banerjee in connection with the coal smuggling case.

Abhishek Banerjee, who’s the nephew of Mamata Banerjee, is the party MP from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency.

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