A division bench of the high court on Wednesday said a decision on whether Trinamul leader Abhishek Banerjee would have to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to face further interrogation in the school hiring case would be taken only if the agency was dissatisfied with the documents he would submit.
The bench of Justice Soumen Sen and Justice Uday Kumar, which was hearing an appeal moved by Banerjee against an order of Justice Amrita Sinha of the court, asked the ED to inform the court by Thursday, October 5, whether the leader would have to appear before it only for submission of documents related to Leaps and Bounds, the company in which he was said to be the CEO.
"The agency should provide Banerjee time till October 12 for submitting the papers. On October 13, the Enforcement Directorate may come to the court and inform if the documents supplied by Banerjee were sufficient or not. If considered to be insufficient, the agency can inform the court," Justice Sen, the senior judge on the bench, told the agency.
After that, the court will take "necessary steps," he said.
Banerjee had moved the division bench challenging Justice Sinha's order on Friday to the ED to ensure that the inquiry scheduled for October 3 — the day Banerjee had been asked to appear before the ED — was not hampered.
The inquiry was related to alleged irregularities in recruitments for government-aided schools.
Banerjee did not appear before the agency that day because he was in Delhi attending a pre-scheduled political programme.
On Wednesday, the division bench did not impose any stay on Justice Sinha's order.
Justice Sen also said Banerjee might be allowed to furnish the documents through a representative or by mail. The suggestion came from the bench after the ED counsel, Dhiraj Trivedi, informed it that his client had given assurance to a single bench judge (Justice Tirthankar Ghosh) that no coercive action would be taken when Banerjee would come to face the interrogation.
The appeal first came up for hearing in the first half, but as there were some technical difficulties, the bench decided to hear the case at 2pm.
In the first half, the ED counsel informed the court that his client had issued a fresh summons asking Banerjee to appear before it on October 9.
The ED has also issued summons to Banerjee's wife and parents in connection with the school recruitment case.
Rujira Banerjee, the leader's wife, has been told to appear for questioning on October 9. His mother Lata Banerjee has been called on October 6 and father Amit Banerjee on October 7.