Business Standard

HC asks Abhisheks' wife to appear before Customs on April 8

Naroola filed a petition in the High Court, arguing that the summons notice slapped on her by the Customs authority was illegal.

IANS  |  Kolkata 

The Calcutta on Thursday ordered Rujira Naroola, Abhishek Banerjee's wife, to present herself before the on April 8 as per its summons, but restrained the department from taking any coercive action against her.

is a nephew of

Naroola had an argument with the Customs authorities on the intervening night of March 15-16 at the on her return from

Naroola filed a petition in the High Court, arguing that the notice slapped on her by the was illegal.

S.N. Mookerjee, who moved the petition on behalf of Naroola, claimed as the Customs department was yet to frame any issue for summoning her, the notice of was bad in law.

Naroola, a Thai citizen, as also another woman were "randomly selected considering their movements and profile" for checking after they landed from

On March 16, she lodged a complaint with the station alleging she was "harassed and heckled" by the Customs authorities. The complaint was later converted into an FIR as per a directive by the court of of following a preliminary inquiry.

The Customs officials lodged a complaint at the police station alleging they were "voluntarily and intentionally obstructed by the two women and local police from discharging their functions under the Customs Act.

On the other hand, representing the Customs, Centre's argued that Ruchira was not being considered an accused, but has been asked to appear before the of Customs to clear discrepancies in her declaration.

After hearing all sides, the asked Rujira to present herself before the on April 8 in compliance with the issues by it, but also barred the agency from taking any coercive action against her till further orders.

The Customs Authority has been ordered to file an affidavit on Naroola's claims within three weeks. Naroola can reply within one week thereafter.

The court said the next hearing will be in May.

Describing as "baseless allegations that his wife Rujira was caught at the airport for carrying gold in her checked-in baggage, Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Mamata Banerjee, had told the media on March 24 that a complaint filed by the Customs authority alleging interference and obstruction by the local police was drafted in a and "highly politically motivated".

Challenging the Customs authorities to prove that his wife was carrying even two grams of gold after reaching the airport from Bangkok, Banerjee had declared he would leave politics if there was any wrongdoing on her part.




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First Published: Thu, April 04 2019. 22:24 IST