Delhi court rejects West Bengal cop Ashok Mishra’s bail request in coal scam, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

New Delhi: Delhi court denied bail to West Bengal policeman Ashok Kumar Mishra, arrested in money laundering case linked to coal scam, saying his job was to prevent illegal activity , but “it seems he himself has become part of the illegal coal mafia.”

Mishra, the inspector in charge of the Bankura Police Station, was arrested on April 3, in the agency’s case alleging that the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the family of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee have benefited from illicit funds obtained from certain illegal coal. mining in the state under a “deep system” of political patronage driven by “well-oiled” machinery.

The bail application was dismissed by Special Judge Virender Bhat, who heard the arguments by video conference.

The judge in the order issued on May 22 observed that the elements collected during the investigation of the case so far, at first sight showed the implication of the accused in the offense of money laundering. to the tune of over 100 crore rupees.

“At the time of the commission of the offense, he was in post as chief inspector of the Bankura police station. His job was to prevent illegal activities, but it seems he himself became part of the illegal coal mafia. The allegations against him are very serious in nature.

“Even if he does not present a risk of absconding, there is a reasonable possibility that he was a senior police official, could tamper with witnesses and interfere in a further investigation into this matter if he is being released on bail at this point, “the judge said and refused to accept the arguments of lead counsel Siddharth Luthra, who represented Mishra.

The accused is said to have ties to Anoop Majee, aka Lala, who is seen as the backbone of the scam.

ED’s special prosecutors Amit Mahajan and Nitesh Rana opposed the plea saying the accused received Rs 168 crore from Majee which he allegedly transferred to Delhi and overseas.

“The applicant himself admitted in his statement to ED officials that he was involved in the transfer / facilitation of the transfer of funds through non-bank channels from India to London,” the lawyer said. .

In its order, the court also stated that economic offenses such as offenses covered by the PMLA are considered very serious offenses against society as a whole and therefore require different treatment when it comes to bail.

“These types of offenses are committed with a cold mind and a calculated and deliberate design for the purpose of personal gain, regardless of the consequences for the public / state,” he said.

The agency had previously arrested Bikash Mishra, the brother of Trinamool congressional youth leader Binay Mishra, in connection with the case.

On November 28 last year, the investigative agency carried out a massive search operation in a number of locations in four states – West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh – after filing a case against Majee .

The CBI had acted on the basis of information from “reliable sources” indicating illegal excavations and thefts of coal in the lease area of ​​Eastern Coalfields Limited in “collusion” with officials of the ECL, the CISF and railways.

The CBI team visited Abhishek Banerjee’s residence on February 23 and examined his wife Rujira in connection with the case. The agency also examined those close to Rujira on the same subject.

The ED is investigating the money laundering aspect of the alleged scam, officials said.

If found guilty, the accused can receive a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine. United Kingdom RKS RKS

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