The Delhi High Court has refused to quash the summons issued to West Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the coal pilferage case in the state.
The court was hearing Ghatak's plea seeking to quash the summons and the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR).
Notably, Ghatak has not appeared before the ED on 11 of 12 occasions, leading the court to express surprise at his request to restrain future summons when he himself had not cooperated with the agency.
Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma noted that the probe agency had been previously instructed to contemplate summoning him in Kolkata, taking into account his age and medical condition.
The judge directed that the ED has the liberty to require Ghatak's attendance in its Kolkata office with a minimum of 24 hours' notice.
The court further mandated notices to the Kolkata Police commissioner and the West Bengal chief secretary to ensure adequate police protection during the examination or interrogation of the petitioner, avoiding any hindrance to the officers of the ED.
The case, originating in November 2020, involves allegations of criminal conspiracy and breach of trust in coal excavation and theft from the Eastern Coalfield Ltd (ECL).
Initially registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ACB, Kolkata, the ED subsequently filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).IANS/VB