Jessop Fire: Ruia Fails To Appear Before CID

Jessop Fire: Ruia Fails To Appear Before CID

Kolkata: Ruia Group chairman Pawan Ruia, who was supposed to appear before CID today for questioning as part of the investigation into the fire that broke out in the Jessop factory in Dum Dum last week, gave the sleuths a miss, for the second time. Ruia has sought two weeks’ time as he is currently “out of the state on a business tour”, a senior CID officer said and indicated that the businessman is likely to be granted two-week’s breather.

“But even after that, if he (Ruia) fails to appear, we will send him a third notice. On failing to respond even then, CID will move court and seek arrest warrant against Ruia,” the officer said. However, two of Jessop’s former officers Ashok Agarwal and Mahesh Gupta – today visited the CID office where they were interrogated, the officer said.

The Calcutta High Court had refused to stay proceedings against Ruia in connection with a case filed by the CID following a fire at Jessop’s factory and directed him to cooperate in the investigation. Ruia had moved the High Court seeking quashing of the case filed against him by the CID, claiming he is not the chairman of Jessop and he is neither the director nor a shareholder, or an occupier of Jessop and Co Ltd or any of its premises.

A Special Investigating Team was formed by the CID to probe the theft at the factory premises. On October 17, a fire had broken out in the painting department of the vacant factory premises, the third such incident in two weeks. Former workers of the factory alleged that the fire was part of a “conspiracy by a third party”, following which the West Bengal government ordered a CID probe into the incident.