Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Bengal coal smuggling case: Prime accused Anup Majhi surrenders in special CBI court


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Shillong, May 14: Anup Majhi a.k.a. Lala, one of the prime accused in the coal smuggling case in West Bengal, on Tuesday surrendered in a special court of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at Asansol in West Burdwan district.

Lala had escaped arrest by the CBI sleuths because of a “protection against arrest” provided to him by the Supreme Court. However, at the same time the special court at Asansol, where the coal smuggling case is being heard, directed the CBI to file the charge sheet in the case.

Sources said that as CBI was supposed to file the charge sheet on May 21, Lala chose to surrender at the special court, just a day after the Lok Sabha polls for the Asansol Lok Sabha constituency were over in the fourth phase on Monday.

Already, the CBI has raised the question of how they would be able to file the final charge sheet in the case unless they can interrogate Lala in the matter. The judge of the special court henceforth pointed out that although there is a “protection against arrest” by the apex court, there is no bar on the CBI officials to question him.

Sources added that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was also conducting a parallel probe on the money laundering aspect of the coal smuggling case and there is a bar on ED officials from taking Lala into custody in the matter. Now, it is to be seen whether ED officials will take the step of taking him into custody for questioning or not.

Investigations on the coal smuggling case started in 2020. So far six have been arrested, including some officials of Eastern Coalfield’s Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Coal India Limited, and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). A couple of them are out on bail now. (IANS)


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