With Anil Bastawade on way, ED gets more time in case against Madhu Koda

Madhu Koda

The Supreme Court today granted 45 days to Enforcement Directorate (ED) to complete its probe against former Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda for his alleged role in a money laundering case.

"We feel that the request is reasonable," a bench of justices H L Dattu and Ranjan Gogoi said while allowing ED's plea.

The investigators also told the bench that they were in the process of getting back Anil Bastawade, close associate of Koda, from Indonesia to establish the link between them in connection with illegal accumulation of wealth.

The court was hearing the bail plea of Koda, lodged in Ranchi jail since November 2009, for his alleged role in a money laundering case.

Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval said ED was in the process of arresting Bastawade, a fugitive businessman, who was detained in Indonesia following an Interpol notice against him.

A Red Corner Notice (RCN) against him was issued by CBI on the request of the ED which is probing charges of alleged money laundering against the 48-year-old businessman.

An RCN is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant. It requests provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extraditing them.

The ED wants the custody of the businessman to probe the alleged financial irregularities conducted by Koda during his tenure as Chief Minister of the mineral rich state under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Koda was represented by senior advocates Shekhar Nafade and U U Lalit, who opposed the plea of the ED saying that in the trial court the Directorate had made a statement that the probe in the case was complete but now they are seeking more time.

Koda's counsel also said the ED was claiming that with the arrest of Bastawade, the probe would be complete but nobody knows who he is.

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