In a major relief to Abhishek Banerjee, the Calcutta High Court on Friday (September 22) directed the ED not to take coercive steps against the TMC leader in connection with its investigation into the school jobs scam in West Bengal.
However, the court did not quash the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), equivalent to an FIR, filed by the ED against the TMC leader.
Justice Tirthankar Ghosh directed the ED not to take coercive steps against Banerjee based on the ECIR.
The court observed that the evidence produced by the ED was not sufficient to warrant the TMC leader’s arrest, adding that the investigation against him into the alleged irregularities in recruitment of teachers in government and government-sponsored schools will continue.
Political parties react
The ruling TMC hailed the judgement and claimed that it shows that the central agencies hounded and harassed Banerjee.
“The judgement shows the central agencies have been hounding and harassing Banerjee, as he is one of the key forces behind the battle against BJP's communal and hatred-filled brand of politics,” TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said.
"The court has restrained ED from harassing Abhishek further. He is helping in the probe and we know he will continue to assist the investigators. We all know real truth will come out," Ghosh added.
Opposition Congress and CPI(M) reserved comments on the order, however, hailed the judgement.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhury told reporters that one should wait till he is acquitted by the court as his trial continues.
"The court has made some observations with regard to the probe by ED. It is not proper to comment more at this juncture," he said.
CPI(M) central committee member Sujan Chakraborty said it baffles him why Banerjee would need "so many rakshakabach" (protective shield) from the court if he is not guilty.
(With PTI inputs)