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Money laundering case: Supreme Court denies bail to suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Pooja Singhal

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has rejected the bail plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Pooja Singhal in connection with a money laundering case. Singhal, who has been embroiled in the legal battle, sought bail, but the apex court upheld the decision to deny her release.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 New Delhi Updated on: April 29, 2024 11:35 IST
Pooja Singhal
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal is being taken to court by Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in connection with a money laundering case in Ranchi.

The Supreme Court declined the plea of suspended Jharkhand cadre IAS officer Puja Singhal seeking bail in connection with a money laundering case. The court, describing it as an “extraordinary case,” upheld the decision of the Jharkhand High Court denying her bail. A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta dismissed Singhal’s plea for bail, emphasising the extraordinary nature of the case. The court cited concerns about the ongoing trial and urged for its speedy conclusion.

Hope for swift trial

Expressing hope for a prompt trial, the Supreme Court highlighted that a significant number of prosecution witnesses have already been examined by the Enforcement Directorate. The decision to deny bail reflects the seriousness of the allegations against Singhal and the need for a thorough legal process.

Liberty granted for future plea

While rejecting the bail plea, the court granted Singhal the liberty to revive her plea if circumstances change or if the trial is prolonged. This decision provides a legal avenue for reconsideration in the future.

Opposition from Enforcement Directorate

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, representing the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Singhal’s bail plea, citing her substantial period of custody, including time spent in a hospital in Ranchi.

Background of the case

Singhal has been in custody since May 11, 2022, following raids conducted at properties associated with her in connection with the money laundering case. The case revolves around alleged corruption in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). The Enforcement Directorate has accused Singhal of money laundering, seizing over Rs 36 crore cash linked to alleged illegal mining as part of its investigations.

Suspension and further action

Following her arrest, Singhal was suspended from her position as a state mines department secretary. The probe also targeted her businessman husband, a chartered accountant, and others associated with the couple.

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