Aspecial court in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi on Friday extended the Enforcement Directorate custody of suspended IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, arrested in connection with its probe into alleged illegal land deals, for four days till May 16.
The special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court on May 6 remanded Ranjan to six-day ED custody.
Ranjan, a 2011 batch IAS officer was arrested on May 4 night and taken into ED custody after he was interrogated for around 10 hours.
The state government suspended Ranjan who was then Director, Social Welfare of the Jharkhand government on May 6.
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The ED also interrogated him on April 24 for around 10 hours in connection with the money laundering probe into the alleged illegal land deals.
Ranjan was briefly questioned by the agency on April 13 as well, when searches were carried out at his premises and those of some others in Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
The ED had earlier arrested seven people, including a Jharkhand government officer, after the raids.
The central agency is investigating more than a dozen land deals, including one pertaining to defence land, wherein a group of mafias, middlemen and bureaucrats allegedly ”connived” in forging deeds and documents from as early as 1932.
It is alleged that land parcels of the poor were usurped as part of this fraud.
This is the second case in which a Jharkhand cadre IAS officer has come under the scanner of the ED.
Last year, the central agency arrested 2000-batch IAS officer Pooja Singhal in a money laundering case linked to the alleged embezzlement of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds in Khunti and other suspicious financial transactions.