Jharkhand HC rejects bail plea of former Ranchi DC Chhavi Ranjan in army land sale case

Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday rejected a bail petition of former Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan in the army land sale case.

Ranjan had moved the high court seeking his release on the grounds of non-submission of the chargesheet within the stipulated time.

The court of Justice Sanjay Kumar Dwivedi heard the matter and observed that there has been no anomaly by the investigating agency in concluding the probe and the chargesheet has already been filed, hence there is no ground for bail on that score.

The bail petition preferred by the suspended IAS officer was opposed by the Enforcement Directorate.

The ED iterated that the investigation has been completed and the chargesheet filed.

The same grounds were raised before the special court for the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and were rejected, the ED counsel said.

Ranjan has raised the same pleas before the high court which has no basis to stand, argued ED senior advocate Anil Kumar.

Ranjan was arrested by the ED after several raids were conducted in the state capital on May 4.

He is alleged to have been instrumental in the sale of army land measuring 4.55 acres in Bariatu area in the state capital.

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Three land parcels at Cheshire Home Road, Pugru and Siram, all in Ranchi, with a commercial value of Rs 161.64 crore have been provisionally attached under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), the ED had said last month.

These land parcels, it said, were “mutated fraudulently in favour of land mafia in connivance with the officers of the land revenue department”.

The agency has arrested 14 people in this case including 2011-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Chhavi Ranjan who had earlier served as the director of the state social welfare department and the deputy commissioner of Ranchi.

The ED has alleged that a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by mafia was going on in Jharkhand.”

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