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ED moves Delhi HC seeking quashing of WB Police notices to agency's officials probing coal mining case

ANI | Updated: Sep 14, 2021 21:10 IST

New Delhi [India], September 14 (ANI): Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of notices issued by West Bengal Police against ED official probing coal mining case and the alleged involvement of TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee in it.
ED said the notices were issued by West Bengal Police on August 21, 2021 and July 22, 2021 to ED officials performing their Statutory functions in the headquarters in Delhi.
ED told the Delhi High Court that in order to pressurise the ED officials investigating the case related to illegal coal mining, Abhishek Banerjee lodged an FIR on April 5, 2021 against a news channel and in furtherance of the same, notices have been issued to the investigating officers investigating the case of illegal coal mining by the West Bengal Police.
"The said FIR has been registered with a malafide intention to derail the investigation under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) being conducted by the Directorate of Enforcement," ED said in its petition filed before Delhi High Court.
Henceforth, ED has urged the High Court to quash the notices dated August 21, 2021 and July 22, 2021 and any other consequential notices and/or orders that may be passed by the petitioners in said FIR lodged by West Bengal Police.

"The complainant in the instant FIR is a political heavyweight and enjoys clout in the State Government of West Bengal. The West Bengal Police is acting at his behest to derail the investigation being carried out by Enforcement Directorate, " the central agency said.
ED and its officers have filed the petition through advocate Amit Mahajan. The petitioners include investigating agency and its officers, who are working as Assistant Directors in the Directorate of Enforcement.
On November 27, 2021, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has lodged a case against some persons for alleged commission of a cognizable offence dealing with criminal conspiracy of IPC and provision of Prevention of Corruption Act.
On the basis of CBI's FIR, ED on November 28 2020 also lodged a complaint under the Prevention of Money-laundering Act against some persons and initiated an investigation in the matter.
On July 22 2021, ED issued a summons to TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee for appearance. Abhishek Banerjee through counsel replied to the summons dated 04.08.2021 seeking three weeks time to arrange the information. On August 18, issued a summons to Abhishek Banerjee for an appearance on September 6 2021.
As per the ED's FIR, illegal excavation and theft of coal was being done by criminal elements from the leasehold area of Eastern Coalfield Ltd. in active connivance of the officials of ECL, CISF, and Indian Railways and concerned other departments.
The agency alleged that illegal mining is going on at the leasehold area of ECL behind Topsi village under Kunustoria Area and at Lachhipur Village under Kajora Area by the coal mafias in active connivance with officials of Eastern Coalfields Limited and those of Central Industrial Security Force. (ANI)