The Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Pankaj Mishra, the former political representative of Chief Minister Hemant Soren, in a money laundering case related to illegal mining.
Mr Mishra was arrested in July last year by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Justice Gautam Kumar Choudhary dismissed Mr Mishra’s bail application after hearing arguments in the case.
The ED had filed a charge sheet against Mr Mishra and his two aides — Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash — on September 16 last year before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Ranchi.
“PMLA investigation revealed that Pankaj Mishra, who enjoys political clout, being the representative of the Chief Minister, MLA from Barhait, Sahibganj, Jharkhand controls the illegal mining businesses as well as inland ferry services in Sahibganj and its adjoining areas through his accomplices,” the ED had alleged in a statement earlier.
“He exercises considerable control over the mining of stone chips and boulders as well as installation and operations of several crushers, set up across various mining sites in Sahibganj,” the statement had claimed.
It had said proceeds of crime amounting to about Rs 42 crore “acquired” by Mr Mishra have been identified.
The agency had also claimed that it has “identified” proceeds of crimes, relating to illegal mining in the state, to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore.
The ED filed a case under the PMLA against Mr Mishra in March last year, alleging that he “illegally grabbed or amassed huge assets in his favour”.
It took cognisance of a state police FIR filed against Mr Mishra at Barharwa police station in Sahibganj district, and some other police complaints filed in illegal mining trade instances under various sections of the Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act, among others.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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