HYDERABAD: In a surprising move, Enforcement Directorate (ED) knocked on the doors of the High Court, challenging the orders passed by the ED special court in Hyderabad, which refused to grant arrest of Kamma Srinivas Rao in a money laundering case. Srinivas Rao is the director of Madhucon Construction Company and its subsidiary Ranchi Expressways Ltd (REL). Justice K Lakshman of the Telangana High Court, on Tuesday, issued a notice and asked him to explain his case within two days.
T Surya Karan Reddy, Additional Solicitor General, who appeared for the ED informed the court that the trial court was under a misguided notion that ED cops have to follow Section 41-A of Criminal Procedure Code like the regular police and the special judge for the ED cases, refused to send Srinivas Rao to judicial remand.
Surya Karan further informed the court that the arrest of Srinivas Rao was under the provision of section 19 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Like regular cops, ED cops are not bound by the CrPC, he added. The Additional Solicitor General urged the court to set aside the order of the trial court and send the accused to remand. He contended that the case pertains to embezzlement of funds that took place in Jharkhand.
The four-lane road expansion work from Ranchi to Jamshedpur was entrusted to Madhucon Projects Ltd. The said company floated a special purpose firm called REL for competing this work and availed huge loans from banks, but no work was taken up till 2017, he added. Serious Fraud Investigation Office found that Madhucon and REL had diverted Rs 264 crore NHAI funds and the Jharkhand High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the scam.