Supreme Court upholds ED, CBI probe on Abhishek Banerjee in school jobs-for-cash scam case, stays Rs 25 lakh cost
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Calcutta High Court order of April 13, which directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to interrogate national General Secretary of Trinamool Congress Abhishek Banerjee in the West Bengal school-for-job scam case.
The Vacation Bench led by Justice P.S. Narasimha, however, stayed the cost of Rs 25 lakh imposed by the High Court.
Appearing for Banerjee, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal contended that these were staged and managed matters. He alleged that these scams were being generated, adding that the state of West Bengal was also filing an SLP in the matter.
While observing that these were not issues affecting the common citizens, the top court of the country listed the matter for further hearing on July 10.
Earlier on May 22, Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi had mentioned the matter before the Vacation Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Karol.
Singhvi had argued that the national agency had called Banerjee, while he was campaigning outside the state. He said the AITC leader was in Darjeeling and they were asking him to be questioned.
The Senior Advocate said that Banerjee was ready to appear before the national agencies on any given date this week. He further said that he was also appealing against the costs imposed on the AITC leader.
The Bench then listed the matter for hearing on May 26.
Earlier on April 13, the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay at the Calcutta High Court had directed both the CBI and the ED to probe the charges against Banerjee in the school jobs-for-cash scam.
The High Court had passed the order on a petition filed by the ED seeking protection from action by State Police against its officers as one of the accused in the case, Kuntal Ghosh, had made some allegations against the ED officers.
Ghosh had alleged that sleuths from ED were subjecting him to torture and forcing him to implicate Banerjee in the case.
Both Banerjee’s and Ghosh’s applications seeking to recall the order passed by Justice Gangopadhyay were dismissed by Justice Amrita Sinha on May 18.
She further imposed costs of Rs 25 lakh each on both of them, besides rebuking the CBI and the ED for slow pace in investigations.