September 28, 2021

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

The World Live Breaking News Coverage & Updates IN ENGLISH

Coal scam: Bengal makes probes Centre-state issue in SC

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Coal scam: Bengal makes probes Centre-state issue in SC
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Coal scam: Bengal makes probes Centre-state issue in SC
Coal scam: Bengal makes probes Centre-state issue in SC

NEW DELHI: Even as CBI and ED are both probing TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee in the coal scam case, the Mamata Banerjee government has raised a Centre-State dispute before the Supreme Court accusing the Centre and its probe agencies of violating federal structure of the country by registering cases in West Bengal despite withdrawal of general consent.
Appearing for the state, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra on Wednesday sought urgent hearing on the original suit filed by the state under Article 131 of the Constitution and told a bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana, and Justices Surya Kant and A S Bopanna that even after three years of the state withdrawing general consent to CBI for registration of cases pertaining to incidents in West Bengal, the central agency continues to breach the federal structure of governance by suo motu registering cases.
West Bengal said that it had withdrawn general consent in the year 2018, but even after that the CBI has registered as many as 12 cases pertaining to incidents that took place in the state. Mamata Banerjee government said that law and order and police were constitutionally put under the exclusive jurisdiction of the states and that the registration of cases by the CBI were illegal and a transgression of the constitutionally distributed powers between the Centre and the states.
Among the 12 CBI cases cited by the state was the alleged multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in which, on the basis of the CBI case, the ED had registered case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act and summoned TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira. Abhishek has denied the charges. The agency has also arrested Vikas Mishra, brother of TMC youth wing leader Vinay Mishra who has allegedly left the country and renounced Indian citizenship.
CBI is already litigating in the SC over the legitimacy of its FIR on the coal scam case which allegedly took place in the railway area under central government control. The West Bengal government is contesting the CBI’s claim in that case. Despite this, the state decided to file a suit and said, “From the plain reading of the law, it is evident that the CBI does not have any inherent jurisdiction in any area in a state including a railway area…without the state’s consent,” it said.
Other instances cited by the WB government included the CBI case against former vice-chancellor of Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan, for alleged misappropriation of money, registration of a case on complaint of Calcutta HC about forgery of its document and a cross-border cattle smuggling incident involving a BSF commandant.
The state said the CBI could register cases in states, which have withdrawn general consent under Section 6 of DSPE Act, only when there is a direction to the central agency in this regard by the constitutional courts. The CBI is unconstitutionally usurping the powers vested in the state and its police by continuing to register cases in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government said.

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