Updated February 5th, 2024 at 22:17 IST

Bengal Ration Scam: ED Moves Calcutta HC Seeking Probe Transfer to CBI

Claiming that politically influential persons are involved in the alleged Bengal ration scam, the ED's counsel said that it is necessary for the investigation of the cases to be handed over to the CBI.

The Enforcement Directorate. | Image:PTI
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KOLKATA: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday moved the Calcutta High Court, seeking the transfer of investigation of all cases pertaining to an alleged Rs 10,000-crore ration distribution scam in West Bengal from the state police to the CBI. Justice Jay Sengupta directed the state to file an affidavit in opposition before the court, after the West Bengal government opposed the prayer for transfer of investigation. The court also stayed any further steps in respect of a case in this connection at Ballygunge police station in Kolkata till March 12, in which the final report was filed.

The ED, which had earlier arrested state minister Jyoti Priya Mallick, who held the Food and Supplies portfolio from 2011 to 2021, is investigating the money trail in the alleged scam. The agency claimed that the irregularities were to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore, of which Rs 2,000 crore was sent outside the country through illegal means.

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The ED's counsel submitted that it registered the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) pertaining to six FIRs at police stations in different districts, including Kolkata, which are being investigated or have been probed by the state police.

The counsel claimed that proper investigation had not been conducted in those six FIRs, although five cases ended in charge sheets and a final report was filed in one.

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The central agency also told the court that other similar cases were registered all over West Bengal, and sought details of those from the state government.

Claiming that politically influential persons are involved in the alleged scam, the ED's counsel said that it is necessary for the investigation of the cases to be handed over to the CBI.

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Opposing the prayer, the state's counsel said the very fact that the charge sheets have been submitted in five out of six cases showed the state was serious about investigating the matter.

Justice Sengupta directed that the affidavit in opposition, as prayed for by the state's counsel, be filed within a fortnight, which will also disclose any other criminal cases registered in police stations over the same issue.

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The ED was asked to file its affidavit in reply within a week. The court also directed the state to produce the case diaries on the next date of hearing on March 3.

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Published February 5th, 2024 at 22:17 IST