The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a showcause notice to Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee’s wife for concealing that she is a citizen of Thailand, DNA reported on Tuesday. Abhishek Banerjee is the nephew of Trinamool chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
In a notice to Rujira Naroola on March 29, the ministry said, “The Central government has been further informed that on 14.11.2009 Ms Rujira Naroola applied for PAN card by filling Form 49A without intimating her real status as a Thai national holding OCI card and mentioning Shri Gursharan Singh Ahuja as her father. She was actually required to fill Form 49AA to get a PAN by declaring herself as a foreigner holding an OCI card. On the basis of information given in her application Form 49A, she has obtained the PAN card bearing no ****** under the name Ms. Rujira Naroola in the capacity of an Indian citizen.”
The ministry said Naroola must explain why she has made false representation and concealed material facts, and sought her reply within two weeks.
“If no reply is received within 15 days from the date of issue of this notice then appropriate decision in the matter would be taken on merit on the basis of available records by the Central Government.”
In March, Naroola was caught at the Kolkata airport for carrying gold in her check-in baggage. The airport customs filed a complaint against the West Bengal Police for allegedly intervening when Naroola was held for carrying excess gold without a declaration from Bangkok.
Naroola had then filed a complaint against customs officials under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code, including for harassing her, for wrongful restraint and criminal intimidation. Abhishek Banerjee had claimed that Kolkata customs officials asked her for a bribe of Rs 50,000 and that his wife was harassed for 75 minutes by officials at the airport.