West Bengal Law Minister Malay Ghatak has once again decided to skip the summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with the multi-crore coal scam case in West Bengal.
Ghatak was asked to be present at the central agency's headquarters at New Delhi this week. However, sources said, the minister had sent a communique to the ED officials expressing his inability to honour the notice because of his prior engagements elsewhere.
ED had issued him the notice to appear at the agency's New Delhi office on July 12.
This is not the first time that Ghatak has been asked by the ED officials to be present at the central agency's headquarter in New Delhi for the purpose of questioning in connection with the multi-crore coal smuggling case. But every time the state law minister dodged that summons.
Earlier, he was issued the notice by the ED sleuths on June 23, where he was asked to be present at ED's New Delhi office on June 26. Prior to that on June 19, the minister was summoned to the ED's Delhi office, but he did not appear and informed the probe agency through his counsel that he had other engagements in view of the upcoming panchayat polls in Bengal.
Earlier to that, the ED had issued a notice to Ghatak on June 6, giving him enough time of 13 days in between to prepare himself and appear at the agency's New Delhi office. However, at the last moment the minister informed the central agency sleuths about his inability to turn up a questioning because of his engagements in relation to the panchayat pole in the state.
The investigative officials feel that the successive avoiding of notices is virtually becoming contempt of court. ED sources said that every time they had been sending notices to Ghatak, he was being given two weeks of time in between as directed by the Supreme Court of India.
Despite that the minister has repeatedly ignored the notices. Sources said that ED sleuths are currently discussing with their legal team to decide over the next course of action in the matter.