A public interest litigation filed in the Jharkhand High Court about a year ago by a resident of Ranchi, Durga Oraon, had facilitated the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to unearth the documents relating to alleged purchase of a coalmine in Liberia, hotel in Mumbai and Thailand, properties and companies across India and involvement in illegal foreign exchange transactions worth around Rs 2,500 crore by the former Chief Minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda along with his associates.
The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday directed the Income Tax Department to furnish a detailed progress report of its investigation into the assets acquired by Madhu Koda, his five former ministerial colleagues and his two business associates by November 12, the next date of hearing. While Madhu Koda is currently undergoing treatment in a private nursing home in Ranchi after the I-T raids, his two business associates, Binod Sinha and Sanjay Choudhary and others were asked by the I-T department to appear personally to explain certain transactions and events relating to the seizure of huge documents by them.
The appearance of Koda's associates before the Additional Director, IT (investigation), Ranchi had been fixed on Friday, but only one of Koda's personal assistants and another person had appeared before the IT officials.
It may be mentioned that after the high court's orders on the PIL, the I-T sleuths had started the probe into the assets disproportionate to the known sources of income of Koda, businessmen Sinha and Chaudhary and former ministers of Jharkhand, Kamalesh Singh, Bhanu Pratap Sahi, Bandhu Tirkey, Harinarayan Rai, Enos Ekka and Chandra Prakash Chaudhary.
The state Vigilance Department and the Enforcement Directorate had instituted separate FIRs against former ministers Harinarayan Rai and Enos Ekka for amassing assets much in excess to their known sources of income.
The state Vigilance Department after completing the investigation, submitted a chargesheet. The Directorate of Enforcement is also probing case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.