Calcutta HC refuses immunity to Abhishek Banerjee from CBI questioning
In his letter, Ghosh had accused the central agencies of pressuring him to name Banerjee in the alleged multi-crore recruitment scam in the state-run schools in West Bengal
Calcutta High Court's single-judge bench of Justice Amrita Sinha on Friday refused immunity to Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee from questioning by CBI in the case relating to expelled party youth leader Kuntal Ghosh's letter.
In his letter, Ghosh had accused the central agencies of pressuring him to name Banerjee in the alleged multi-crore recruitment scam in the state-run schools in West Bengal.
Originally, the bench of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had allowed the CBI to question Banerjee in the matter. However, two cases related to the matter were transferred to the bench of Justice Sinha following an order of the Supreme Court.
On Thursday, Banerjee- also a Lok Sabha member - filed a fresh appeal at Sinha's bench seeking relief from CBI questioning in the case.
However, on Friday Justice Sinha turned down the plea and in a way upheld the order by Justice Gangopadhyay's order allowing CBI to question Banerjee in the matter.
Banerjee's counsel argued that if a protection from questioning is not allowed then there is every possibility of CBI taking any cohesive step. However, refusing to accept that argument Justice Sinha observed that since the court will remain open on a 24x7 basis, there will be scope for approaching the court any time.
During the first hearing in the matter at her bench earlier this week, Justice Sinha had observed that Banerjee should cooperate with the probe.
"No one is above investigation. Please cooperate in the process of investigation. What is the problem there," Justice Sinha had told Banerjee's counsel.
To recall, Kuntal Ghosh had sent a letter to a local police station and the judge of a special CBI court claiming that the central agencies were putting pressure on him to name Banerjee in the alleged recruitment scam.
On being pointed out by the central agencies, Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had authorised the CBI to question Banerjee in the matter.
Banerjee had then approached the Supreme Court against the order following which the apex court had put an interim stay on Justice Gangopadhyay's order for a specific period which had expired.
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