Kolkata, June 2 (Ajit Weekly News) The Calcutta High Court on Thursday gave relief to Trinamool Congress’ national General Secretary, Abhishek Banerjee and also a jolt to the Enforcement Directorate (ED), pertaining to the latter’s probe on coal smuggling case in West Bengal.
A single-judge bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri overruled the objections raised by the ED to Banerjee’s trip to Dubai for undergoing ophthalmological treatment.
It approved Banerjee’s trip to Dubai for treatment from June 2 to June 10 and also allowed his wife Rujira Narula to accompany him. However, the court has directed Banerjee to provide his air travel details, address and contact numbers of the hotel that he will be staying at Dubai, details of the hospital where he will undergo the treatment, and the other treatment related documents to the ED.
Appearing for the agency, Additional Solicitor General, M.V. Raju said that Banerjee, while appealing to the central agency for permission to travel abroad, did not furnish his treatment details, and the entire story of medical treatment in Dubai appears to be fake.
He also said out that the prime accused in the coal smuggling case and Trinamool Congress leader, Binay Mishra is currently absconding and allegedly hiding in Dubai.
Raju also argued that Banerjee went to Dubai on February 25, and got his next appointment for ophthalmological check-up on May 26. “But he skipped that appointment. Now again he has got an appointment on June 3. From this, it seems that the story on treatment is not any serious affair. There is a probability that his Dubai visit is meant to meet Binay Mishra,” he claimed.
Justice Chaudhuri then counter-questioned that if the ED is aware that Mishra is in Dubai, then why the agency officials not taken any step to bring Mishra back from there?
Banerjee’s counsel, Saptarshi Basu gave counter-arguments that his client had not concealed anything from the ED and submitted all supporting documents.
Finally, the court approved his overseas trip for treatment. Justice Chowdhury observed that Abhishek Banerjee is not the prime accused in coal and cattle smuggling cases. “He has appeared at the ED office more than once already. So, his foreign trip will not affect the progress of the probe,” the judge observed and also pointed out that anyone has the right to choose where he would undergo his or her own treatment.
–Ajit Weekly News