Kolkata Airport Officials Stop Abhishek Banerjee's Wife Rujira Banerjee from Going to UAE Amid Bengal Coal Scam Probe

Rujira, the National General Secretary of the Trinamool Congress and Lok Sabha party member was detained at the airport due to her alleged connection with the Bengal coal smuggling scam.
Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee
Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee

Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek Banerjee, was recently prevented from boarding a flight to Dubai at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.

Rujira, who serves as the national general secretary of the Trinamool Congress and holds a position in the Lok Sabha as a party member, was detained at the airport in relation to a coal smuggling fraud case in Bengal.

Rujira Banerjee has been issued a bailable warrant by a court on Saturday. 

The reason behind this warrant being issued is Rujira's failure to comply with the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The ED had summoned her for questioning in relation to a money laundering case associated with an alleged coal scam in West Bengal.

Rujira, whose husband is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has been issued a warrant by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Snigdha Sarvaria.

A new hearing in the case will be held on August 20.

The Special Public Prosecutor, Nitesh Rana, represented the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and informed the court that despite multiple summons being issued by both the court and the investigating agency, the accused failed to appear before them.

Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee
Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee

Couple has taken their case to the Supreme Court

The couple filed an appeal with the Supreme Court last month, disputing the ED summons in the case.

The ED summoned the pair to appear in court on March 21 and 22 for questioning.

Abhishek and Rujira Banerjee had previously sued the Delhi High Court against the ED summons, arguing that because both are West Bengal citizens, they should not be summoned to appear before the agency in the national capital.

On March 11, the Supreme Court rejected their plea.

The couple has approached the Supreme Court to challenge the order of the high court. Their plea, filed by advocate Sunil Fernandes, argues that the political party to which the first petitioner (Abhishek) belongs emerged victorious, defeating the ruling party at the centre. 

This, they claim, has provided a justifiable reason for the misuse of Central Investigation Agencies to "target" and "victimize" the first petitioner.

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Couple insisted to be interrogated in Kolkata instead of Delhi

The plea stated that the ED did not make any attempt to question the petitioners in Kolkata initially, and it remains unclear what obstacles the ED would encounter if they were to interrogate the petitioners at their fully equipped office in the city.

The plea further stated that the petitioners' claim of being politically targeted is reinforced by the unexplained insistence of the ED to conduct the interrogation of the petitioners at their New Delhi office instead of their well-established office in Kolkata.

The plea suggests that the ED appears to be more focused on prejudicing the petitioners rather than conducting a genuine and prompt investigation into the alleged offense.

The petitioners have requested the Supreme Court to suspend the high court order and instruct the ED to issue summonses to the petitioners exclusively in Kolkata under section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

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