Kolkata : The Enforcement Directorate (ED) probing the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal on Monday got permission from the Rouse Avenue Court in Delhi to take Trinamool Congress strongman and the party’s Birbhum district president, Anubrata Mondal, to Delhi, ED sources said here.
According to the sources, the court approved ED’s appeal for a production warrant to take Mondal to the national capital and question him at the agency’s headquarters there. Currently, Mondal is under judicial custody at the special correctional home in Asansol.
Mondal is the second accused in the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam whom the ED will take to Delhi for questioning. The first was Mondal’s bodyguard, Sehgal Hossain.
However, the path for the central agency to get permission to take Mondal to Delhi was not quite smooth, as the Trinamool Congress strongman approached multiple courts like the Calcutta High Court and Delhi High Court to stall ED’s attempts on this count.
ED sources said that the argument of its counsel prevailed that since there is already a precedent of taking an accused to Delhi, there is no reason why the same move cannot be made applicable in case of Mondal.
ED sources said that although the final process of shifting Mondal to Delhi will start after getting the green signal from the agency’s headquarters in the national capital, the preparatory process on this count has been initiated by the agency’s officers here.
Reacting to the development, Trinamool’s Birbhum district vice president Malay Mukhopadhyay said, “The apprehension was there. We are consulting our legal brains in the matter and looking for options on whether this order can be challenged.”
Welcoming the development, former CPI(M) Lok Sabha member Samik Lahiri said, “That Anubrata Mondal is influential was evident from the reaction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after his arrest by the CBI. I think the Rouse Avenue Court has taken the right decision.