Enforcement Directorate Urges Calcutta High Court to Shift Ration Scam Investigation from State Police to CBI

Feb6,2024 #Calcutta HC #CBI #ED #Scam

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Published on: February 6, 2024 at 10:00 IST

In a significant development, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has approached the Calcutta High Court seeking the transfer of all cases related to the Rs 10,000 crore ration scam from the State police to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Last month, during the ED’s investigation into the ration scam, officers were assaulted while en route to raid the premises of local political leader Shahjahan Sheikh, an accused in the scam. The High Court had subsequently formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the attacks.

Justice Jay Sengupta, presiding over a single bench, remarked upon hearing the plea:

“It appears that out of the six criminal cases mentioned by the petitioner, charge-sheets have been submitted in five cases, and in one case, a final report has been submitted seeking the exoneration of the accused. The matter needs a detailed hearing. Opposition, if any, should be filed within a fortnight from this date. The same shall disclose other criminal cases.”

The ED asserted that it was investigating cases arising from First Information Reports (FIRs) being probed by the State police concerning the Rs 10,000 crore ration scam in West Bengal. It was revealed that of the total amount, Rs 2,000 crore had been illicitly transferred to Dubai.

The ED further claimed that a politically influential entity from the ruling party was arrested along with an accomplice, leading to the revelation of fund diversion.

Expressing concerns, the ED alleged that the State police might tamper with the original FIRs to undermine the ED’s ongoing investigation. The ED requested details of similar cases and FIRs registered in West Bengal to facilitate necessary actions. Due to the involvement of politically influential figures in the scam, the ED argued for the transfer of the investigation to the CBI.

The State’s counsel refuted the allegations, suggesting that the State needed to file a response as it was questionable whether one investigating agency could request the transfer of the investigation to another. The State emphasized its seriousness in investigating the cases, pointing out that charge-sheets had already been submitted in five out of six cases mentioned by the petitioner.

The Court, recognizing the need for a comprehensive hearing, scheduled the matter for further deliberation on March 5, 2024.

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