Charges framed against 2 ministers in Koda govt

Last Updated: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 18:35

New Delhi: The legal noose around ex-Chief
Minister Madhu Koda appears to be tightening with a special
anti-money laundering court in Jharkhand framing charges
against two of his former ministerial colleagues -- Hari
Narayan Rai and Enos Ekka -- under a stringent Act.

With framing of charges under the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case a few days back by the
Ranchi court, the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI are
hoping that it would bolster their case against Koda who has
been accused of money laundering and possessing assets
disproportionate to known sources of income against Koda.

This is the first case in which charges have been framed
under PMLA in the country.

The ED has accused the former ministers in Koda
government-- Ekka and Rai-- of having laundered Rs 13.88
crore and Rs 4.83 crore respectively in the case.

According to ED sources, the agencies involved in the
probe now expect similar charges to be framed against Koda and
other associates.

Koda, who was Jharkhand Chief Minister from September 2006
to August 2008, was arrested on November 30, 2009. He is
lodged in the Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi.

In its chargesheet filed in the court earlier this year,
the Enforcement Directorate has accused Koda of amassing
illegal wealth of over Rs 1,340 crore in connivance with four
of his close associates.

According to the charge sheet in the multi-crore illegal
investment and hawala transactions case, Koda has one acre of
land costing Rs 1. 5 lakh at Mesra, another land of Rs four
lakh at Jaganathpur and an LIC policy worth about Rs 33 lakh.

"The tacit understanding between Madhu Koda and Binod
Sinha to hide the criminal activities was clearly projected as
separate, different and lawful businesses by the said four
persons," the charge sheet had said, indicating the role of
the four associates along with Koda.

The ED submitted that the probe in the case is an "ongoing
investigation" and it is also awaiting replies to its Letters
Rogatory (LRs) sent to countries like Dubai, Sweden, Thailand,
Indonesia and Liberia to probe illegal investments.

Koda and his associates are facing inquiries by various
probe agencies like the Income Tax department, the CBI and the
Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau regarding the alleged illegal
investments.

The charge sheet claimed that all of these (four accused)
are "deeply involved in committing the offence of money
laundering."

On November 12, last year, the CBI had filed a separate
charge sheet against Koda and others.

Evidence against Koda was secured during countrywide
raids, including on the premises of his associates, by the ED
and the IT department in October 2009 which allegedly showed
huge illegal investments and hawala transactions during Koda`s
tenure as the chief minister.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 18:35

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