Speaker to summon CBI, ED officials again after agency officers refuse to appear

Kolkata: Speaker of the state Assembly Biman Banerjee would once again summon the CBI and ED officials as officers of the central agencies skipped appearing before the state Assembly on Wednesday stating that permission of the speaker is not required to file chargesheet against MLAs in cases related to Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The Speaker is looking into the matter "with all seriousness" considering that "the chapter is not yet closed", according to the sources in the Speaker's office.

The Speaker had summoned two officers of the central agencies for flouting the set norms of taking his consent before filing a chargesheet containing names of the

Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). After CBI, ED has also submitted a chargesheet in connection with the Narada case containing names of the state Transport minister Firhad Hakim, state Panchayat and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee and Kamarhati MLA Madan Mitra.

The officers - DSP of CBI Satyendra Singh and assistant director of ED Rathin Biswas – were asked to turn up before the Assembly at 1 pm on September 22.

Instead of turning up at the state Assembly, the ED on Wednesday had sent a representative carrying a letter stating that none of their officers would appear before the Speaker.

The agency had sent a letter to the Speaker on Tuesday evening as well informing that the officer would not appear as Speaker's permission is

not needed to file a charge

sheet against an MLA, if the case is related to PMLA Act. Subsequently, the Speaker had sent another letter to the ED stating that he was "not convinced" with their reply and the officer had to appear personally.

On Wednesday, CBI also sent an e-mail to the Speaker stating that they have carried out the investigation following directions of the Calcutta High Court and the charge sheet was filed as the law permits.

They had also stated in the email that their officer would also not appear before the Speaker.

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