by IANS |
Kolkata, March 18 (IANS) Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the multi-crore cattle smuggling scam in West Bengal, has hinted at taking stern steps against Trinamool Congress strongman Anubrata Mondal's daughter Sukanya Mondal if she makes renewed attempts to dodge the agency's summons.
After Sukanya Mondal skipped the first summons in which she was asked to be present at ED's central headquarters in New Delhi on March 15, the ED sent a second notice directing her to be present on March 20.
But she had communicated to the ED through her counsel that owing to health reasons she would need seven days, sources said.
However, the ED has turned down her plea this time and issued a counter-notice to her on Friday asking her to be present on Monday or be ready for strong action as per legal provisions on charges of non- cooperation in the process of investigation.
The agency officials said that March 20 is very crucial for them in the perspective of a chance to question Anubrata Mondal and Sukanya Mondal together, considering that March 21 is the next date for presenting the Trinamool Congress strongman at Rouse Avenue Court in New Delhi.
It was learnt that although ED's counsel will seek further extension of his custody with the agency, their sleuths are not sure whether the court will finally accept the plea on this count or not.
"In case, Anubrata Mondal is remanded to judicial custody, then the chance of questioning him together with his daughter will be over for the time being. So, March 20 is crucial for us to question her along with her father to take the investigation process ahead," an ED associate said.
On March 14, Manish Kothari, the personal chartered accountant of Anubrata Mondal, was arrested by the ED sleuths at the agency's New Delhi office after marathon interrogation. The probe officials claimed that Kothari was arrested after he resorted to thorough non-cooperation during interrogation.
ED sources doubt that Sukanya Mondal's repeated attempts to dodge summons might be prompted by the fear that she might also receive the same fate like Kothari.