Who is Rujira Banerjee and why has ED issued warrant against her?
Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira Banerjee once again skipped the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the investigation into the coal smuggling case.
Trinamool Congress Member of Parliament Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira Banerjee once again skipped the summons issued by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the investigation into the coal smuggling case. Following this, the central agency has now issued a bailable warrant against her
The Enforcement Directorate had summoned Rujira to its Delhi office for being questioned in the case.
Rujira has been evading the questioning by the ED in the case even though her husband has already given his statement twice to the agency. In fact, in March, Abhishek was interrogated for eight hours straight. Yet Rujira refused to travel to Delhi citing the reason that going to Delhi amid the pandemic would put her life in grave danger.
To note, the ED is investigating the financial dealings linked to the illegal coal extraction scam in the Durgapur-Asansol belt. The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the scam which is worth crores of rupees.
The ED, in its probe, allegedly found two firms, namely Leaps and Bound Pvt Ltd and Leaps and Bound Management Services LLP, received protection funds worth Rs 4.37 crore from a construction company via the alleged coal smuggling case accused. Rujira is reportedly a director of Leap and Bound Management Services Limited along with Abhishek's father.
Who is Rujira Banerjee?
Originally a Thailand national, she holds an Overseas Citizen of India card. The PIO card was issued to her by the Indian High Commission in Thailand in 2010. According to reports, Rujira's father resides in Delhi's Rajouri Garden. He reportedly owns a mobile gadget shop in the Karol Bagh area.
She was studying at the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (now shut down) in Delhi where met Abhishek. They got married in the national capital, New Delhi in an extravagant ceremony in February 2012.
Even though she prefers to keep a low profile, Rujira made headlines in March 2019 when she was accused of obstructing a Customs officer at Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport. The Customs officials had allegedly detained Rujira for carrying gold in her check-in baggage.
The same year, the Union Home Ministry pointed out discrepancies in her PIO card and marriage certificate. The discrepancy was over the difference in the name of the father given by her while applying to get her PIO card converted into an OCI card. While the PIO card application in 2010 mentioned Niphon Naroola as her father, the marriage certificate named Gursharan Singh Ahuja as her father.
Data collected from Abhishek's 2019 Lok Sabha election affidavit shows that Rujira had over Rs 5.01 lakh in bank deposits as well as gold jewellery worth Rs 22 lakh. She had paintings worth Rs 3 lakh. In 2019, her net assets were worth Rs 35.55 lakh.