cbi: CBI, ED, Bengal speaker head for showdown | India News – Times of India

cbi: CBI, ED, Bengal speaker head for showdown | India News – Times of India
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KOLKATA: The CBI on Monday questioned Bengal industries minister Partha Chatterjee for two hours in the iCore case, the development setting off a chain of events that saw central agencies re-emerging as flashpoints in the rocky West Bengal government-Centre relationship.
Three separate developments followed in quick succession as the CBI team left Chatterjee’s office around 2pm. One, assembly speaker Biman Banerjee shot off summons to two senior ED and CBI officers, asking them to appear before him on September 22 to explain why they had filed Narada chargesheets against three MLAs (ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim, and Madan Mitra) without informing him.
Two, the Centre asked the NIA to probe the crude bomb blasts at BJP MP Arjun Singh’s home on September 8. And, three, the ED summoned state law minister Moloy Ghatak in the illegal coal-mining scam. Monday’s developments came in the wake of the ED questioning TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee for nine hours last Monday and sending him a fresh summons to appear for questioning next week. Three assembly constituencies, including Bhowanipore (where CM Mamata Banerjee is a candidate), are going for by-polls on September 30.
Three CBI officers reached Chatterjee’s office Shilpa Sadan’s sixth floor around noon on Monday after he Chatterjee told the agency he was available for questioning. at his office.CBI officers, who arrived at the industry minister’s office around noon, wanted to know the reason behind the his presence at a 2011 programme, where he reportedly “endorsed” the iCore group. “I was given charge of the industries and IT departments in the first three months of 2011. There were many companies that wanted to set up units here. They used to come to the department. How would I know if iCore was a Ponzi firm or not? That is the Sebi and the RBI’s job,” Chatterjee explained later.
The Speaker’s summons, which reached the ED and CBI offices in the afternoon, pointed out that Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act (1988) mandated that the Speaker’s permission must be sought to file chargesheets against sitting legislators. It asked CBI deputy SP Satyendra Singh and ED assistant director Rathin Biswas to explain their action, which, the letter said, had “denigrated” the state legislature.
A Union home ministry letter asking the NIA to probe the bombing at BJP MP Singh’s Bhatpara home reached the state government. State cops have already arrested two persons, including a minor, based on CCTV footage and lodged attempt-to-murder and explosives cases. Singh and opposition leader Suvendu Adhikari have called the blast an attempt on Singh’s life and demanded a central agency probe.
The ED summons to the state law minister rounded off the day’s developments; it called him for questioning at its Delhi office on September 14. Ghatak, however, said, “Even a child now understands that this is totally politically motivated.”
(With inputs from Sanjib Chakraborty and Debasish Konar)





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