Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued a summons to Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee for questioning in connection with its probe into the ‘coal pilferage scam’, an official said Tuesday. It should be stated here that only Monday during a programme of the party Abhishek Banerjee had said that he will again have to face CBI or ED grilling as the BJP is not being able to make any headway in West Bengal.
The ED has asked Abhishek, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, to appear at its Kolkata office Friday morning.
The ED has also sent a notice to Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Menoka Gambhir for questioning in the same case September 5, an officer said. Gambhir has been asked to appear before sleuths of the central agency at its New Delhi office, he said.
However, later in the day, the Calcutta High court directed the ED to question Gambhir at its regional office here and not to take coercive steps against her till the next date of hearing five weeks later.
“We have summoned Abhishek Banerjee to appear before our sleuths at our office here at 11.00am September 2. Our officers from New Delhi will come to interrogate him in connection with the coal pilferage scam,” a senior ED official said. The notice to the TMC MP was sent Sunday, he said.
While attacking the BJP during a programme, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had Monday apprehended that the central agencies might send notices to her nephew, considered the second in command in the party.
Abhishek, who was present at the August 29 programme, had also said, “This is a big gathering today (Monday), and mark my words, maybe something is going to happen in three-four days.”
The Diamond Harbour MP had earlier appeared before the ED officers twice for questioning in the case.
The Supreme Court had May 17 stayed a Delhi High Court order, which had dismissed the pleas filed by Abhishek and his wife Rujira Banerjee seeking quashing of summons issued to them in a money-laundering probe, and said the ED can examine them in its Kolkata office by giving 24-hour advance notice.
The central agency had earlier questioned Rujira in connection with the coal pilferage investigation.