Chhattisgarh: ED’s supplementary chargesheet in coal scam names two Congress MLAs, IAS official Sahu

 The Enforcement Directorate on Friday filed its second supplementary prosecution complaint (chargesheet) in a money laundering case related to an alleged coal levy scam in Chhattisgarh, naming two MLAs of the ruling Congress and an IAS officer as accused.

The prosecution complaint, which runs into more than 280 pages with about 5,500 pages of documents, was filed before special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court judge Ajay Singh Rajput, said ED lawyer Saurabh Pandey.

Eleven persons, including MLAs Devendra Yadav (Bhilai Nagar constituency) and Chandradev Rai (Bilaigarh), and IAS official Ranu Sahu have been named as accused, he told PTI.

Nikhil Chandrakar and Manish Upadhyay, said to be close aides of Saumya Chaurasia (who was posted as deputy secretary in the chief minister’s office) have also been named, Pandey said.

Of these 11 accused, two including Ranu Sahu are in jail after they were arrested by the ED, he said.

The ED on Friday also filed a writ petition in the Chhattisgarh High Court seeking its direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an offence in the coal scam, Pandey said.

As per the ED, a `levy’ of Rs 25 was being extorted for every tonne of coal transported in Chhattisgarh by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians and middlemen.

The first prosecution complaint in the case was filed in the special PMLA court in Raipur on December 9 last year in which IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi, businessman Sunil Agrawal, Suryakant Tiwari and his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari, all arrested earlier by the ED, were named as accused.

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The second prosecution complaint was filed on January 30 this year in which Saumya Chaurasia and six others, including two mining officers, were named as accused. Chaurasia was arrested in December last year.

The ED in its first supplementary prosecution complaint had claimed that the main kingpin Suryakant Tiwari enjoyed a larger-than- life image in the state bureaucracy, primarily because of his association with Saumya Chaurasia.

Tiwari acted as a middleman, and conveyed unofficial instructions from Chaurasia to the district level IAS/ IPS officers. It made it possible for him to control the district machinery and extort Rs 25 per tonne in coal transportation and Rs 100 per tonne in iron pellet transportation, the agency alleged.

Although the money was collected by Tiwari’s syndicate, he was not the final beneficiary and big chunks of money were transferred to Chaurasia, spent on political funding and transferred as per instructions of higher powers, the ED has claimed.

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