ANI Photo | SC gives ED more time to file reply to suspended bureaucrat plea in alleged coal levy scam

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave more time to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file a reply on suspended bureaucrat Ranu Sahu’s bail plea in an alleged coal levy scam.
A bench of justices JK Maheshwari and KV Viswanathan adjourned the court and re-listed the matter for next week after ED sought more time to file a reply.
Suspended IAS officer Ranu Sahu has approached the top court, challenging the Chhattisgarh High Court order dated February 8, 2024.
Chhattisgarh High Court has dismissed the Ranu Sahu bail plea in connection with the money-laundering linked alleged coal levy scam.
Earlier, while rejecting the bail plea, the Chhattisgarh HC, in its February order, said, “Considering the ECIR, other material placed on record (which prima facie shows the involvement of the applicant in crime) and the judgement of the Supreme Court in case of Saumya Chourasiya (supra), this Court believes that the applicant is unable to satisfy twin conditions for grant of bail under Section 45 of the PMLA.
“The bail application filed under Section 439 of the Cr.P.C. is not a fit case for grant of bail and hereby the bail is rejected,” said Chhattisgarh High Court.
Ranu Sahu, the former bureaucrat, was arrested on July 22, 2023, by the Enforcement Directorate for the alleged commission, a punishable offence under Sections 3 and 4 of PMLA.
The case in the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is based on the FIR registered by Kadugodi Police Station, Whitefield, in Bengaluru, based on a complaint filed by the Deputy Director of Income Tax in Bengaluru.
ED initiated a money laundering investigation based on the FIR lodged on the complaint of the Income Tax Department. Searches at more than 145 premises were conducted and so far 9 accused have been arrested under PMLA.
All of them are in judicial custody.
Prosecution Complaints dated December 9, 2022 and January 30, 2023, were filed in the Special Court (PMLA) against Suryakant Tiwari, Saumya Chaurasia, IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi and others.
On June 30, 2022, Suryakant Tiwari obstructed the officials from their duties and destroyed crucial incriminating documents and digital evidence about the alleged illegal extortion of Coal Transportation. Suryakant Tiwari and his gang have also collected all the payments.
According to ED, Sahu was posted as Collector in Korba from June 2021 to June 2022 and Collector, Raigarh District, till February 2023. Both the districts are rich in coal and her husband, J.P. Maurya, has also been an IAS Officer and Special Secretary in the Geology and Mining Department since June 2021.
ED has alleged that the cash given for the payment of land purchased in her and her family’s name, used funds of illegal levies.
According to the ED, after an investigation, it has been established that proceeds of crime worth Rs 540 crore were acquired in this extortion racket

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