New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has ordered an interim stay to the notice issued by the West Bengal police to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials during its probe against the coal mining scam case and the alleged involvement of Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar also issued notice to the West Bengal government and asked to file its response within four weeks. The respondents — state government, and police may file a rejoinder affidavit 2 weeks after that, the order dated December 7 stated.
“It is a settled proposition of law that the three conditions are required to be established for grant of any interim relief: a strong prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable injury to the petitioner. In view of the discussions hereinabove, I find that the present case is a fit case for grant of ad-interim relief.” the Court order said, and posted the matter for further hearing on February 18, 2022.
During the hearing, the ED’s counsel submitted that the notices issued under Section 160 (1) of Cr.P.C. can only be issued to a person who is within the local jurisdiction of that police station or is within the jurisdiction or any “adjoining” police station.
He further submitted that in the present case, the petitioners are posted in Delhi which is clearly outside the jurisdiction of respondent police officers and police station.
The probe agency also submitted that notices can only be issued to persons who are either the accused or the witnesses and since the present petitioner’s agency or any of its officers have neither been named in the FIR as accused and are also not witnesses in the matter, not being acquainted or in the knowledge of the facts of the case, the notices issued to the petitioners are without jurisdiction and liable to be set aside.
On the other hand, the respondents submitted that this Court lacks territorial jurisdiction as notices have been issued by Kolkata Police in connection to an FIR registered in the State of West Bengal which clearly falls outside the territorial limits of this Court.
On September 6, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had questioned Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, for almost nine hours in its probe related to money laundering worth Rs 1,352 crore illegal coal mining in the state.
The probe agency, on November 9, had attached properties worth Rs 9.28 crore, which is owned by former TMC leader Vinay Mishra, his brother Vikas Mishra and businessman Anup Majee, in connection with the scandal.