Ranchi: Special Court (PMLA), Ranchi has taken cognizance of a Supplementary Prosecution Complaint filed by Directorate of Enforcement (ED) under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) against (i) Pooja Singhal (IAS), (ii) Abhishek Jha, (iii) Jai Kishore Chaudhary (E.E.), (iv) Shashi Prakash (E.E.), (v) R K Jain (A.E.) and (vi) Suman Kumar (CA).
Earlier, ED had arrested Suman Kumar (CA) on 7 May 2022 and Pooja Singhal (IAS) on 11 May 2022 under the provisions of PMLA, 2002.
The Arrest was preceded by extensive search operation carried out on 6 May 2022 at 27 different premises located in Ranchi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Faridabad, Gurugram and Muzaffarpur. During the search proceedings, cash amount of Rs. 19.76 Crore, four vehicles including two high-end cars (Jaguar F Pace and Toyota Fortuner) and various incriminating documents, digital devices were seized.
ED initiated money laundering investigation on the basis of 16 FIRs registered under various sections of Indian Penal Code 1860 and sections 11, 13(2) and 13(1)(e) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 by the Jharkhand Police after the Audit team found total embezzlement of Rs. 18.06 Crore (Proceeds of crime in this case) in the work done under MG NREGA scheme at Khunti District.
Investigation by ED revealed that the commission was paid to Pooja Singhal (IAS) who was then Deputy Commissioner of the District Khunti by the Ram Binod Sinha and other Engineers, in respect of the sanctioning of funds. The accused persons – Pooja Singhal and her Husband Abhishek Jha have also deposited huge amount of cash in their bank accounts during period of scheduled offence which was subsequently utilised for the purpose of acquisition of various properties. Suman Kumar CA was found to be involved in collection of illicit money on behalf of Pooja Singhal. The accused persons have also invested huge proceeds of crime acquired by Pooja Singhal IAS, in various immovable properties. The accused persons were therefore found to be involved in the activity connected with the “proceeds of crime” generated as a result of criminal activity related to scheduled offence and thereby have committed offences of section 3 of PMLA, 2002.
Earlier in the case, attachment to the tune of Rs. 4.28 Crore was done by ED, which was subsequently confirmed by the Adjudicating Authority.
Further investigation into the matter is under progress.