Coal-mining scam in West Bengal: CBI summons 'mastermind' for questioning on Mar 30

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New Delhi, Mar 26 (PTI) The CBI has summoned the alleged mastermind of an illegal coal-mining scam in West Bengal, Anup Manjhi, for questioning in connection with the case on March 30, officials said on Friday.

The Supreme Court restrained the agency on Thursday from arresting Manjhi till April 6.

'The petitioner shall not be arrested until April 6. This order has been passed without going into the merit of the case. We clarify that this order will not restrain the investigation,' a bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said.

The bench, also comprising justices M R Shah and Sanjiv Khanna, directed that Majhi shall cooperate in the probe.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has already questioned Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek Banerjee, Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour and the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who wields considerable influence in the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the ruling party in the state.

The agency had also questioned Abhishek Banerjee's sister-in-law and her family members in connection with the case.

The multi-crore-rupee coal pilferage scam is related to the Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) mines located in the state's Kunustoria and Kajora areas.

The CBI had registered an FIR in November last year against Anup Manjhi alias Lala, the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket, ECL general managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL security chief Tanmay Das, Kunustoria area security inspector Dhananjay Rai and Kajor area security in-charge Debashish Mukherjee. PTI ABS RC