Ex-J’khand CM seeks action against mines minister after Singhal arrest

  • | Thursday | 12th May, 2022

Ranchi, May 12 (PTI) A day after the arrest of the Jharkhand Mining Secretary Pooja Singhal in a money laundering case, former chief minister Raghubar Das on Thursday sought action against the state’s mines minister.Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is currently holding the portfolio of the mines department.Addressing a press conference here, Das, also the BJP national vice-president, said, “If the state mining secretary is suspended after her arrest, why not the mines minister?” The Jharkhand government on Thursday suspended Singhal with immediate effect under the provisions of All India Services (Discipline and Appeal Rules, 1969).The money laundering case against Singhal is linked to the alleged embezzlement of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds in the state.Das, who was the Jharkhand chief minister from December 2014 to December 2019, also challenged Soren to probe whether any scam had taken place during his tenure.The JMM has been alleging that the ED action on the mining secretary is linked to the scam that took place during the tenure of the Raghubar Das-led government, which had given her a “clean chit”.All those who gave her the clean chit should be probed, Soren had said on Wednesday.Replying to a question over the JMM’s allegation, Das said, “If any scam happened during my tenure and Singhal was saved at that time, why does the government not conduct an investigation?” A committee had been formed by his government under the chairmanship of the additional chief secretary to probe the allegations against Singhal, the former chief minister said.“The committee might not have found evidence against Singhal. Hence, a clean chit was given. The chief minister had no role in it,” he said.Two types of cases were going on in the MGNREGA scam—one criminal and the other departmental. The action taken by the ED is linked to a criminal case, Das said.The ED had produced the 2000 batch IAS officer before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court of Prabhat Kumar Sharma after two consecutive days of questioning by the central probe agency on Tuesday and Wednesday.Singhal was sent to Birsa Munda Central Jail, Hotwar, on Wednesday night after the ED took her on remand for five days. PTI SAN MM MM

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