The Enforcement Directorate on Thursday issued fresh summons to Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee to appear before it on March 29 in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam, reported PTI.

On Monday, the Enforcement Directorate had questioned Banerjee on the matter for around eight hours.

Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee have been named as accused persons in a case of alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from the mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas.

During the questioning on Monday, Abhishek Banerjee was “confronted with some evidence” gathered by the investigators in the case, news agency PTI had reported citing unnamed officials. The officials said Abhishek Banerjee’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has alleged that the case against him is an example of Bharatiya Janata Party’s vendetta politics.

On March 11, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a petition filed by the Trinamool Congress leader and his wife, seeking the suspension of the Enforcement Directorate’s summons. Noting that the order came just a day after the BJP won the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, Banerjee had said that this could not have been a coincidence.

The allegations

In November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a case against the general managers of Eastern Coalfield Limited as well as a coal mine operator named Anup Manjhi. Based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case, the Enforcement Directorate also started an inquiry.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged that Abhishek Banerjee had received cut money from Trinamool Congress leader Vinay Mishra, who was allegedly involved in the illegal mining. The BJP also claimed that Abhishek Banerjee channelled these funds into the Trinamool Congress.

In February, the Central Bureau of Investigation had served a notice to Rujira Banerjee asking her to join inquiry in the case.