ED investigation results in loss of prestige: Firhad Hakim

West Bengal Urban Development & Municipal Affairs Minister, and Kolkata Mayor, Firhad Hakim, on Saturday said he is scared of loss of prestige and social position “that is inevitable while one goes through the investigation process of the Enforcement Directorate (ED)”.

“ED investigation results in immense loss of social position and prestige and I am scared of that only,” Hakim said on Saturday while giving his explanation on why he made an appeal to the Calcutta High Court to review its decision to include ED as a party in a public interest litigation regarding the assets and property details of 19 heavyweight leaders, including seven ministers, in West Bengal.

To recall, on August 8, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s chief justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bhardwaj directed the ED to be party in the PIL regarding the assets and property details of 19 heavyweight leaders, including seven incumbent ministers.

On Friday, Hakim and two other ministers named in the PIL namely state Forest Minister, Jyotipriyo Mullick, and state Cooperation department minister, Arup Roy, approached the same bench with a plea to reconsider the decision.

Hakim on Saturday said that his only concern is loss of social prestige and not the fear of being jailed.

“I am not afraid of facing any kind of investigation. But you must remember that everyone has some social position and prestige. At the same time everyone is scared of loss of that social prestige. I am not scared of being sent behind the bars. Several leaders from West Bengal had been behind the bars before. But in the ED investigation that social prestige is at stake. At the same time the media also starts its own trial,” Hakim said.

This is the second such “anxious” statement made by Hakim since the division bench of the Calcutta High Court directed the inclusion of ED in the PIL.

At a press conference on August 10, Hakim said that the involvement of former state education minister Partha Chatterjee in the teacher recruitment scam does not make all in the party ‘thieves’.

“We are all ashamed of what Partha Chatterjee has done. But it is not fair that just because of his wrongdoings, all Trinamool Congress leaders should be considered as thieves. I want to question the CPI-M leadership whether any of their leaders or followers can accuse me of misbehaving with them,” he said.

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