ED gets custody of Chhattisgarh CM"s aide for 4 more days in money laundering case

  • | Tuesday | 6th December, 2022

Raipur, Dec 6 (PTI) A special court here on Tuesday allowed the custodial interrogation of bureaucrat Saumya Chaurasia, a deputy secretary posted in Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel"s office, by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for four more days in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal levy scam in the state.The court also extended the judicial custody of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Sameer Vishnoi, coal trader Suryakant Tiwari and two other accused by four more days in the same case.Additional District and Sessions Judge Ajay Singh Rajput extended the ED remand by four days of Chaurasia after she was produced before the court on expiry of her current custody, said Chaurasia"s lawyer Faizal Rizvi.Rizvi said the ED had demanded ten-day custody of Chaurasia, but he opposed the plea in the court citing she had been cooperating in the investigation and appeared nine times before the central agency in response to its summons before her arrest.The court also extended the judicial custody of Vishnoi, Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal by four days, he said.They will be produced in the court on December 10, Rizvi added.Chaurasia, considered an influential bureaucrat, was arrested under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after questioning on December 2.The money laundering investigation was launched after the ED took cognisance of an Income Tax department complaint. The financial crimes probe agency in October carried out multi-city raids in the state as part of its probe.It also arrested IAS officer Vishnoi, coal trader Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari and another coal businessman Sunil Agrawal and named them as accused.The case pertained to "a massive scam in which an illegal levy of Rs 25 per tonne was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen", the ED had said.Chief Minister Baghel had dubbed the central probe agency"s action to arrest Chaurasia as “politically motivated”. PTI TKP RSY RSY

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