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Court stays transfer of officer probing Koda scam

Ranchi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Jharkhand High Court Tuesday stayed the transfer of Income Tax Director (investigation) Ujjwal Chaudhary, who is probing the Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scam in which former chief minister Madhu Koda is allegedly involved.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and Justice R.R. Prasad stayed the transfer while hearing a petition filed opposing the transfer of Chaudhary.

‘The court stayed the transfer of Chaudhary for three months. The court also asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit an investigation report in the Koda scam by March 16,’ Rajiv Kumar, a lawyer who filed the petition, told IANS.

Rajiv Kumar had filed the plea to intervene in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Durga Oraon, who had in 2008 sought a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the assets of Koda and five former ministers.

The next hearing of the case will take place March 16.

Chaudhary was transferred last week as commissioner income tax in Patna.

Last week, the income tax department under the supervision of Chaudhary raided 70 places in 13 Indian cities, including the properties of M.L. Pal, the personal secretary of Chief Minister Shibu Soren, and two ex-chairmen of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board – V.N. Pandey and H.B. Lal.

Pal was removed as personal secretary after the IT raids.

The other people whose properties were raided were retired Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former mines secretary Jaishankar Tiwari, Jharkhand Mines and Geology director B.B. Singh, chief engineer of JSEB P.K. Singh, member of state pollution board R.K. Sinha and member of electricity board S.N. Chaudhary.

The raid was a move to carry forward the investigation into the Koda scam. The IT and ED had in October last year raided 69 places in eight Indian cities, including the houses of Koda.

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