Supreme Court rejects bail plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer in money laundering case : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court rejects bail plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer in money laundering case

Puja Singhal is suspended following her arrest

Supreme Court rejects bail plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer in money laundering case

Pooja Singhal. PTI File Photo



PTI

New Delhi, April 29

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Puja Singhal seeking bail in a money laundering matter, observing it as an “extraordinary case”.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta refused to interfere with the Jharkhand High Court order denying her bail.

The top court noted that out of 17 prosecution witnesses, 12 have been examined by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and hoped that the trial in the case is concluded expeditiously.

“You wait for some more time for bail. This is not a normal matter but an extraordinary case. There is something seriously wrong in this case. We are not inclined to entertain the instant petition. We hope the trial will be concluded expeditiously,” it observed.

However, the bench gave liberty to Singhal to revive her bail plea, if the trial is prolonged or there is any other change in circumstance.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the ED, opposed the bail plea and said that out of the total custody period, she has spent most of the time in a hospital at Ranchi.

On February 10, 2023, the top court had granted Singhal interim bail for two months to enable her to take care of her ailing daughter.

Singhal has been in custody since May 11, 2022 after raids were conducted at properties linked to her in connection with the money laundering case.

The case relates to alleged corruption in the implementation of MGNREGA, the Centre’s flagship scheme for rural employment.

The ED has accused Singhal, a former state mines department secretary, of money laundering and said its team seized more than Rs 36 crore cash linked to alleged illegal mining as part of two separate money laundering investigations.

Apart from the 2000 batch IAS officer, her businessman husband, a chartered accountant associated with the couple, and others were also raided by the ED as part of the money laundering probe.

Singhal was suspended following her arrest.

#Jharkhand #Supreme Court


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