New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday 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.

However, the ASG said once Bastawade is apprehended, the ED will establish the link between him and Koda. The court posted the hearing on the bail plea of Koda after four weeks.

Koda had approached the Apex Court after his bail plea was rejected by the Jharkhand High Court. He is lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail where he has been confined since November 2009 for his alleged role in several corruption and other cases.

Koda had got bail earlier in two cases -- one relating to violation of Model Code of Conduct during election and another related to disproportionate assets filed by the CBI.

On September 25, 2012 charges had been framed against Koda by a Jharkhand court under Section 4 of the Prevention and Money Laundering Act, 2002 pertaining to laundering of a total sum of Rs 3,549.72 crore.

Koda has been accused by the ED of making illegal investments worth Rs 1,340 crore out of the total amount.

ED suspects Bastawade to have made alleged illegal investments in Dubai and other foreign locations on behalf of Koda and his other associates.

The agency has named him in its charge sheet and has underlined his role in purchasing properties in the UAE from criminal proceeds generated by alleged illegal activities during the tenure of Koda.


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