Jharkhand money laundering probe: ED gets another 5-day to grill IAS officer Pooja Singhal
Complaints of giddiness by IAS Pooja Singhal during interrogation spoils much time, ED informs Court.
RANCHI: Remand of IAS office Pooja Singhal, arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in money laundering case, has been extended for another 5 days. Producing Singhal in the Court, ED’s Counsel informed that she has been complaining of giddiness quite frequently, due to which they are facing problems in interrogation, and hence, needs another 6 days for quizzing her.
Besides providing medical facilities to the IAS officer, EDs Counsel informed Court, they also have to arrange some medical tests during interrogation which kills much time. On the requests made by ED, the court extended her remand for another five days.
“We pleaded before the court that they are trying to get information related to the digital devices, documents, and sources of income, which has not been completed. In addition to that, the court was also told that Singhal is being interrogated in front of the District Mining Officers (DMO), for which, we need
some more time,” said ED’s Counsel BMP Singh. Citing all these grounds, ED demanded a 6-day remand for Pooja Singhal but was granted only for 5-days, he added.
CA Suman Kumar, however, has been sent to jail, said Singh. The Enforcement Directorate, after interrogation for over 15 hours, had arrested mining secretary Pooja Singhal on May 11 in a money laundering case linked to alleged embezzlement of MGNREGA funds and other charges while Chartered
accountant Suman Kumar, associated with Singhal, had already been arrested three days back. A day after her arrest, the State Government suspended Singhal on May 12.
The 2000-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer has been taken into ED custody under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Singhal was arrested on the second day of the questioning being done by the ED officials after her replies to the questions asked by ED during
questioning were not satisfactory and her replies were evasive.
According to ED, Rs 1.43 crore more than the known sources of her income were recovered from the bank accounts of Pooja Singhal while she was Deputy Commissioner in Khunti, Palamu and Chatra. The ED also claimed that Singhal purchased as many as 13 insurance policies by paying a premium of Rs 80.81 lakh and closed them before completion of their tenure and got Rs 84.64 lakh against it.
Notably, the ED on May 6 conducted raids at several locations, including that of Pooja Singhal, in connection with a money laundering case linked to alleged embezzlement of over Rs 18 crore MGNREGA funds in Khunti district during 2008-2011. The raids were conducted at a total of 18 locations including Bihar, Rajasthan, Haryana, NCR as well as Ranchi, Khunti and Dhanbad in Jharkhand.