A Delhi court on Saturday issued a bailable warrant against Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee after the Enforcement Directorate stated that she has failed to appear before it despite multiple summons, PTI reported.
Abhishek Banerjee and Rujira Banerjee have been named as accused persons in a case of alleged illegal coal mining and theft from the mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas.
Abhishek Banerjee, who is the Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary and nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on March 21. The central agency questioned him for eight hours and confronted him with evidence related to the case.
The central had summoned Rujira Banerjee on March 22, but she did not appear before it, according to India Today. She had skipped the summons citing the risk of being infected with the coronavirus disease.
“I am a mother of two infants and travelling to New Delhi physically alone in the midst of pandemic will put mine and the lives of my children at grave risk,” she had said in a letter to the agency.
The Trinamool Congress leader and his wife had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the summons. However, the court dismissed their petition on March 11. The matter is now pending in the Supreme Court.
In November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a case against the general managers of Eastern Coalfield Limited as well as a person named Anup Manjhi. Based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case, the Enforcement Directorate also started an investigation.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged that Abhishek Banerjee had received kickbacks from Trinamool Congress leader Vinay Mishra who, the saffron party claimed, was involved in the illegal mining. The BJP also claimed that Abhishek Banerjee channelled these funds into the Trinamool Congress.
Abhishek Banerjee and Rujira Banerjee have denied the allegations against them.