Bengal ration scam: License of Rahman's rice mills renewed illegally, says ED

National |  IANS  | Published :

Kolkata, Dec 27 (IANS) Bakibur Rahman, the Kolkata-based businessman arrested in the ration distribution case in West Bengal, managed to get the license of his rice mill renewed flouting all norms, as per the latest documents available with the sleuths of Enforcement Directorate (ED) investigating the case.

Sources said the licenses for Rahaman-owned NPG Rice Mill was renewed twice even as the investigation by the Enforcement Branch (EB) of West Bengal Police was happening.

The allegation against the entity was regarding the misuse of foodgrains procured from the farmers for the public distribution system (PDS) by selling them in the open market at premium prices.

Sources pointed out that as per norms the licenses for any such entity cannot be renewed if there is a pending investigation against it by any agency on charges of irregularities. The license will not be renewed as long as the probe against it is completed and the investigation agency gives a clean chit to the entity at the end of the investigation.

Sources said that the investigating ED officials are of firm belief that the renewal of license for Rahaman’s mill and that too twice with pending probe against it was only possible because of the silent backing from the former state food & supplies minister Jyotipriya Mallick, who had been arrested by the central agency in October this year because of his alleged involvement in ration distribution case.

The ED sleuths doubt the involvement of the senior official in the license- renewal wing of the state food & supplies department behind this foul play. At the time of license renewal, the officers of the said wing has to cross-check whether there is any pending investigation against the mill concerned and accordingly recommend whether the case is fit for renewal or not.

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