Thursday, July 25, 2024

Calcutta HC restores responsibility of money-laundering cases in Bengal to ED officer

A single- judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday restored the responsibility of investigating the money laundering- related cases in West Bengal to Enforcement Directorate (ED)’s Assistant Director Mithilesh Kumar Mishra, who was earlier discharged of his responsibilities in the matter following an earlier order of the same bench.

On Friday Justice Amrita Sinha, who herself ordered for Mishra’s relieving in the matter by the end of last month, restored the responsibilities. On Thursday, Mishra and ED submitted a plea at Justice Sinha’s bench for revision of her earlier order.

A close-door hearing at her bench took place on Friday afternoon that lasted for around a couple of hours where only the counsels of Mishra and ED were allowed to be physically present. A joint director of ED also joined the hearing virtually from the agency’s headquarter at New Delhi.

During the hearing, sources aware of the development, said the counsels and joint director pleaded for restoration of charges to Mishra and also argued that the latter being an efficient officer will be able to steer the investigation in the right direction.

Finally, Justice Sinha restored Mishra’s responsibilities being satisfied by the arguments made on his behalf.

This means that a total of three senior officers of the central agency will now be leading the investigations on different money-laundering cases in West Bengal, including the cash-for-school-job case, municipalities’ recruitment irregularities, cattle and coal smuggling, among others.

Already, after the previous order by Justice Sinha, Mukesh Kumar had been inducted by ED. At the same time, another officer from the agency’s Gangtok office R. Kumar, is also joining the investigation team in Kolkata soon.

At the same time, initiatives of adding more manpower in the existing team at Kolkata has also started considering that the Calcutta High Court’s division bench of Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Uday Kumar has directed the ED to wind up the investigation in the school job case by December 31 this year.

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