Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: September 12, 2022 at 20:52 IST

On Friday, September 9, the Supreme Court put a hold on two PILs filed with the Calcutta High Court that sought an investigation into the financial affairs of 19 Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders, including some who are currently serving as ministers in the West Bengal government.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) was appointed as a party to the PILs on August 8 by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court.

TMC MLA Swarna Kamal Saha petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn the High Court’s decision.

Saha’s senior attorney, Kapil Sibal, argued before a bench presided over by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit that the High Court had issued a directive to include the ED as a party despite the fact that the writ petitions had any factual support.

The bench, which also included Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and PS Narasimha, issued notice regarding the special leave petition submitted by the TMC MLA and suspended further action in the PILs before the High Court.

The returnable notice becomes effective on September 26.

The contested decision was approved on August 8 by the Supreme Court’s branch, composed of Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj, taking into account PILs filed by Biplab Kumar Chowdhury and Arijit Ganguly, which show growth in the assets of 19 MPs questioned in Trinamool.

The petitioners who filed the PILs in 2017 relied on election affidavits filed by leaders to claim that their fortunes have grown astronomically.

The leaders named in the petitions include seven ministers: Firhad Hakim (also the Kolkata mayor), Bratya Basu, Jyotipriyo Mullick, Maloy Ghatak, Arup Roy, Javed Ahmed Khan, and Seuli Saha.

Apart from them, MLAs Sovan Chatterjee, Iqbal Ahmed, MP Arjun Singh, Swarnakamal Saha, Siliguri Mayor Gautam Deb, Biman Banerjee, etc., are also named in the petitions.

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