Bengal coal scam case: CBI raided law minister Moloy Ghatak’s house

Debjit Mukherjee, Kolkata: The CBI on Wednesday conducted searches at the premises of West Bengal Law Minister Moloy Ghatak in connection with its probe into alleged coal pilferage from Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in Asansol.

Ghatak at a press conference said “I have one thing to say on the raid: this is being done to malign the party and me, which shouldn’t happen. This is a political witch-hunt, and even the ED, CBI and the press know at whose behest it is being done. Everybody knows who is responsible for the coal pilferage scam”.

“Other than BJP leaders, if any person of Asansol says that I am connected with the coal pilferage scam, then I will quit politics. If they can prove anything, I will quit politics” he added.

Ghatak said the CBI found nothing in the raid but Rs 14,000 in cash and “they didn’t seize the money, claiming it was an insignificant amount”. He said he doesn’t have seven houses, and the money he has is all accounted for.

The ED, which is also probing the money trail in the coal pilferage scam, also summoned Ghatak, asking him to appear before it in New Delhi on September 14. “I haven’t received any notice. I saw a news report that I have been called to Delhi on September 14. I wrote to the ED, asking them to call me before September 13 as the assembly session will begin on September 14. I have always cooperated with the probe agency, and if they summon me, I will surely go to Delhi” the minister said.

On not appearing before the ED, the minister pointed to the timing of the summonses. “Notice the dates on which I was called. The first time was four days before the Asansol civic polls. The next was six days before the Asansol Lok Sabha by-polls. I couldn’t appear because I was busy in the election campaign” he said.