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Fresh flashpoint? Bengal cops abused Customs: Centre to SC

March 30, 2019 07:27 AM


Fresh flashpoint? Bengal cops abused Customs: Centre to SC

New Delhi:

The Centre informed the Supreme Court on Friday that West Bengal police had abused and intimidated customs officials on March 16 at Kolkata airport for insisting on checking the baggage of Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife. Abhishek is CM Mamata Banerjee’s nephew.

Solicitor general Tushar Mehta told a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna that customs officials found gold items in the baggage of Abhishek’s wife Rujira Naroola and Menka Gambhir, both Thai passport holders.

West Bengal police came in a large contingent to the prohibited area of Kolkata’s international airport after customs officials asked Abhishek’s wife Rujira Naroola and Menka Gambhir, both Thai passport holders, to put their baggage for X-ray when they were walking out through the green channel.An FIR was registered against customs officials on the complaint of Naroola, Mehta said and claimed that the complaint of the customs department against police officers who “abused and resorted to criminal intimidation and voluntarily obstructing customs officials from performing their duties” was not being entertained by the police.

CJI Gogoi said, “If you (customs officials) are seeking any relief, then you must file an application. We will decide it after hearing the other side.” Mehta said an application would soon be filed. This is the second instance when the SC has been moved complaining against West Bengal police’s inimical behaviour towards central government officers.

A few months ago, on an application filed by CBI, the SC had begun contempt proceedings against West Bengal chief secretary, police chief and the then Kolkata police commissioner for derailing the chit fund scam probe.

On Friday, the CBI filed an application accusing mobile phone service providers Airtel and Vodafone of repeatedly stalling requests by the agency to make available complete call detail records of phones of chit fund scam accused. Mehta said given the repeated intimidation of central government officers by state police, he feared that service providers were also pressurised not to give CDRs of the accused to the CBI.


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