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HC tells govt, Rlys to submit report on Jessop inspection

The Calcutta High Court on Monday directed the State Government and Railways to submit report after inspecting Jessop factory by December 16.

Justice Joymalya Bagchi directed the officers of state and railways to reach the factory for inspection and file the report.

Justice Bagchi said that the properties of Railways, which are lying in the factory, are also national property and have to be protected. The officers would take stock of the situation and also take measurements of raw materials lying there.It may be recalled that, in 2003, the Ruia Group – led by Pawan Ruia – had acquired Jessop and Company which manufactured railway wagons.

In 2014, the factory had shut down indefinitely and in February this year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced that the Bengal government would take over Ruia Group’s Jessop and Co and Dunlop India.

The 57-year-old Ruia was arrested by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) from his Delhi 
residence late on Friday on the basis of a case registered at Kolkata's Dum Dum Police station, where the complaint was registered by the Indian Railways alleging him of theft and fraud.

The prime charges levelled against him include cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property as well as criminal breach of trust. He is now in police custody.

As per the direction by the High Court, the district magistrate of North 24 Parganas, Additional Director General (CID) and Director of the Store department of Railways, along with other officers will visit Jessop and Co.

“The Railway proceeded to the Calcutta High Court seeking the return of their materials from Jessop. Jessop’s local [authorities and management] was also willing to return those materials, but could not do it. The next date of hearing is on December 19,” said a one of Ruia’s counsels.

The businessman, as the head of Jessop and Co, has faced charges of theft from the factory. He was earlier asked to report at the CID headquarters repeatedly in Kolkata, but he did not turn up.

The industrialist was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 406 (Punishment for criminal breach of trust) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant).

On Sunday, at Barrackpore Additional Cheif Judicial Magistrate court, fresh charges under IPC 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house,) 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) were also attached.

The Railways earlier had filed an FIR with the Dum Dum police station after an inspection team found 
several equipment and coaches worth Rs 50 crore missing from the Jessop factory at Dum Dum, where a fire destroyed important evidences on October 17.
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