Supreme Court rejects bail plea of Saumya Charasia in money laundering case

The money, which was collected from extortion and illegal levy, was purportedly being used for election funding and bribes, the central agency claimed.
Supreme Court. (File photo | PTI)
Supreme Court. (File photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: In a major setback to Saumya Chaurasia, the former Deputy Secretary to former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, the Supreme Court in its order on Thursday dismissed his bail plea in a money laundering case.

A two-judge bench of the Apex Court, headed by Justice Bela M Trivedi and also comprising Justice Satish Chandra Sharma, passed the order after hearing Chaurasia's Special Leave Petition (SLP).

Chaurasia, a suspended civil servant, had moved the Top Court challenging a June 23 order of the Chhattisgarh High Court rejecting her bail plea. 

Chaurasia, an IAS officer of the Chhattisgarh Civil Service (now suspended), had spent almost a year in jail now, for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case relating to a coal scam. He, however, said, he was framed in the case and claimed innocence. The case was "politically motivated", and there is not "an iota of evidence against him" in the case.

The Apex Court today also in its order noted that he had submitted incorrect facts, in his SLP, forcing it to impose a heavy and extraordinary cost of one lakh on him.

It was stated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is the probe agency in this case, that there were allegations, against Chaurasia, of extortion and illegal levy collection from coal and mining transporters transporting coal from Chhattisgarh mines.

The money, which was collected from extortion and illegal levy, was purportedly being used for election funding and bribes, the central agency claimed.

The ED also stated that Chaurasia, owing to her position in the chief minister's office, influence in this case, allegedly and unlawfully obtained cash from coal levy extortion, purchased properties in the names of her family members.

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