Jharkhand High Court Orders ED to Investigate Birsa Munda Jail Inmates’ Allegations



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The Jharkhand High Court orders federal probe into allegations of framing Enforcement Directorate officials

Jharkhand High Court’s Order

Taking note of allegations that attempts were being made by some people lodged in Birsa Munda jail in Ranchi to frame Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials in false cases, the Jharkhand High Court ordered the federal probe agency to conduct an inquiry into the matter and furnish a report in a sealed cover.

Accused in Birsa Munda Jail

A number of accused arrested by the federal probe agency in an alleged land scam linked money-laundering case in Jharkhand are lodged in the Birsa Munda Jail under judicial custody.

Court’s Mention of Alleged Attempts

A division Bench of Chief Justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and Justice Ananda Sen in the course of proceedings related to a different case, on November 7, mentioned about reports published in a section of media regarding alleged attempts by inmates lodged in Birsa Munda Jail in Ranchi in connection with money-laundering trying to frame ED officers in false cases.

Enforcement Directorate’s Actions

“The Enforcement Directorate on November 3 had conducted searches in the Ranchi Jail following inputs that a “conspiracy” was being hatched there to influence witnesses and destroy evidence in an alleged land scam linked money-laundering case in Jharkhand,” official sources had said.

“Following inputs of a “conspiracy” being hatched by certain arrested local musclemen to influence witnesses, to harm ED officials and tamper or destroy evidence, a search had been launched by agency officials along with jail staff,” the sources had said.

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ED’s Summons and Arrests

Based on revelation of documents and other evidence collected after the raid conducted in the jail, the ED has summoned three jail officials for further questioning in the matter. “Birsa Munda Central Jail superintendent Hamid Akhtar, jailor Naseem, and head clerk Danish had been asked by the agency to appear in person for ascertaining more facts in the matter,” sources had said.

The agency has arrested about 14-15 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who had earlier served as the director of the State Social Welfare Department and the Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi.

Nature of the Probe

The probe pertains to the ED alleging that a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by mafia was going on in Jharkhand.”

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