The Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed Rujira Naroola, the wife of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee, to appear before Kolkata customs office on April 8, adding that customs can't take any coercive step against her. On March 16, the West Bengal Police "intimidated" customs officials at the Kolkata international airport, after they held Naroola for carrying excess gold without a declaration.
"Calcutta HC orders WB CM's nephew Abhishek Banerjeeâ€™s wife to appear before Kolkata customs office on 8 April, also said customs can't take any coercive step. She was held at Kol airport on Mar 15-16 allegedly for carrying gold without declaration and let off after police intervention," the news agency ANI reported.
Calcutta HC orders WB CM's nephew Abhishek Banerjeeâ€™s wife to appear before Kolkata customs office on 8 April, also said customs can't take any coercive step.She was held at Kol airport on Mar 15-16 allegedly for carrying gold without declaration&let off after police interventionâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 4, 2019
The Calcutta High Court order comes days after the Centre, during a hearing on the Sharada chit fund scam, raised the issue in the Supreme Court, saying that the incident shows "constitutional anarchy" and a "complete breakdown of law and order" in West Bengal. Customs officials have also filed a complaint against Naroola, who has, in turn, filed a counter complaint.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Central Bureau of Investigation in chit fund scam cases, told a bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi that a large contingent of West Bengal Police arrived at the Kolkata airport after customs officials stopped Rujira Naroola and Menaka Gambhir, both Thai passport holders, to check their luggage.
Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represents West Bengal, claimed Mehta was using the "Supreme Court as a platform to feed the press", to which, Mehta said he was not interested in addressing the press.
Banerjee, who is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Sunday refuted reports that his wife was caught at the Kolkata airport, adding that the complaint filed by the customs authorities alleging interference and obstruction was "highly politically motivated".