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Pooja Singhal case: Money laundering done through various shell companies, ED tells Jharkhand HC

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 May 2022, 9:45 IST
Pooja Singhal case

Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday informed the Jharkhand High Court that the investigation by the agency against suspended Jharkhand mining secretary Pooja Singhal and others suggests that money laundering has been done through various shell companies.

The ED said that the MGNREGA scam in Khunti district and other related corruption cases may be referred to the CBI as there is sufficient evidence.

ED also informed the court that the statement of Ravi Kejriwal indicates that many shell companies were used to launder the money and the involvement of one of the respondent is suspected.

Notably, Ravi Kejriwal was once very close to Chief Minister Hemant Soren and was serving as the treasurer of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) before being expelled from the party for alleged anti-party activities.

He was grilled by ED for hours on May 15 in connection with arrested mining secretary Pooja Singhal and shell companies.

As per highly placed sources in the agency, Ravi Kejriwal disclosed the links between Hemant Soren and shell companies during the interrogation.

The Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday heard petitions against Chief Minister Hemant Soren's mining lease, alleged shell companies of Soren and others. The court was also hearing on ED's investigation and raids in the MGNREGA scam by Mining Secretary Pooja Singhal. Now all these matters will be heard on May 19.

A special PMLA court in Ranchi on Monday sent Singhal and her Chartered Accountant Suman Kumar to another four-day remand of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money-laundering probe linked to the alleged embezzlement of MGNREGA funds and other charges.

According to ED lawyer BMP Singh, the four-day remand began on Tuesday.

"Data has been collected from digital devices and they will be confronted with it. So, they have been taken under ED remand," Singh told reporters here.

Singhal and her CA, Kumar, were produced before Count on Monday after their previous ED remand concluded.

Singhal was the secretary of the Department of Mines and Geology and the Managing Director of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Limited (JSMDC), who had served as the deputy commissioner of the state's Khunti district between 2009 and 2010.

She was arrested by the ED on May 11 and got suspended by the Jharkhand government on May 12. After her arrest, a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Ranchi sent Singhal to a five-day remand of the ED.

Earlier this month, ED had conducted raids at Ranchi's Pulse Hospital, owned by her husband Abhishek Jha.


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First published: 18 May 2022, 9:45 IST