Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court has ordered wife of a Trinamool MP to appear before Customs authority on April 8.
Rujira Narula, the wife of TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee, was held at the Kolkata airport for carrying excess gold without a declaration from Bangkok. The Customs Department had already issued the summons on March 26. The court has directed that the customs authorities to not take any coercive step against Narula.
Meanwhile, Narula’s advocate S N Mookerjee claimed that the Customs authority had no right to issue such summons as it has not yet framed any issue for summoning her. On the other hand, lawyers Ravi Prakash and Bhaskar Prasad Banerjee – who appeared for the Customs Department – argued that the petitioner is a Thai national but holder of PAN card and Aadhaar card. During the investigation, several irregularities were pointed out by the customs authorities.
The Principal Commissioner of Customs had, on March 26, issued a summon to the MP’s wife under Section 133 of the Customs Act for obstructing the performance of their duty at the Kolkata airport. The MP’s wife had moved a writ petition challenging the legality of the summons.
Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj has directed the Customs Department to file an affidavit in the case and said that the matter will be listed in May.
Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, had denied last month that his wife was caught at Kolkata airport carrying gold in her baggage. The Diamond Harbour MP had claimed that the complaint against his wife filed by customs officials was politically motivated.