Coal smuggling scam: Ex-ECL director, CISF inspector sent to 14-day judicial custody

Coal smuggling scam: Ex-ECL director, CISF inspector sent to 14-day judicial custody

By Rajesh Saha: A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court in West Bengal’s Asansol remanded former Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) director Sunil Kumar Jha and a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official Anand Kumar Singh to 14-day judicial custody in connection with the coal smuggling case in West Bengal.

The duo was arrested by the CBI on Thursday for their alleged involvement in coal smuggling scam. Jha and Singh were presented in court on Tuesday after four days in CBI custody.

Judge Rajesh Chakraborty of the CBI special court sent the duo to judicial custody for 14 days and announced May 29 as the date for the next hearing in the case.

The two accused’s bail plea was opposed by CBI’s lawyer Rakesh Kumar who said that if the accused are released, the investigation may be disrupted. The CBI has made no request to interrogate the two accused during their time in judicial custody.

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The CBI had summoned the ex-ECL official Sunil Kumar Jha and CISF inspector Anand Kumar Singh at the Nizam Palace in Kolkata for questioning on May 11. The next day, on May 12, they were produced before a special CBI court in Asansol and sent to 4-day CBI custody.

COAL SMUGGLING CASE

A case regarding the coal smuggling was filed on November 27, 2020, alleging a conspiracy involving multiple individuals, that included a private person, public servants from the ECL, security personnel and unidentified officials from the CISF, the railways, and other departments.

The alleged conspiracy took place from May 2020 onwards, where the accused fraudulently misappropriated coal from ECL’s leasehold areas and also from the coal stock stacked in the Railway sidings for sale and supply.

(With inputs from Anil Giri from Asansol)

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