Kolkata: A single- judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday removed the existing bar on Enforcement Directorate (ED) from taking any cohesive action, including the arrest, against Maneka Gambhir, the sister-in-law of Trinamool Congress’ national general secretary and party MP, Abhishek Banerjee.
Last year the ED summoned Gambhir to the agency’s headquarter in New Delhi for questioning in the cattle and coal scam cases in West Bengal. She then approached Calcutta High Court’s single- judge bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya, who granted Gambhir’s prayer for being questioned by the Central agency sleuths at Kolkata only. Justice Bhattacharya also gave her an interim protection from any cohesive action including arrest by ED.
The ED challenged this protection from cohesive action at a division bench of the Calcutta High Court’s Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj. However, the division bench then refused to entertain the ED’s plea and instead advised the Central agency to approach any single- judge bench once the term for the interim protection expires.
Accordingly, the ED approached Calcutta High Court’s single- judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, which on Friday removed the bar from cohesive action against Gambhir. However, Justice Mantha has given her the liberty to approach any higher bench in the matter.