Jharkhand HC directs ED to probe MNREGA scam in West Singhbhum district

The Jharkhand high court has directed the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to take over the probe from the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in the alleged multi-crore MNREGA scam in West Singhbhum district, people aware of the development said on Wednesday.

The Jharkhand high court complex in Ranchi. (HT File Photo)

Hearing a petition filed by one Matlub Alam, the division bench of chief justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and justice Aanand Sen directed the federal agency on Tuesday to submit a report before October 31.

The case pertains to the alleged scam that took place between 2008 and 2011 in West Singhbum district. The Jharkhand police had registered 14 cases in this regard, but transferred them to the anti-corruption bureau in 2015. Subsequently, Alam filed the PIL in 2021 seeking probe by an independent agency.

“We pleaded for an independent probe as these cases have been pending at different stages of investigation for a decade. Now the court has directed ED to probe the case,” he said.

The ED is already probing another MNREGA scam case in Khunti district, for which the agency had on 11 May 2022 arrested IAS Pooja Singhal on charges of money laundering. The alleged scam happened when Singhal was the Khunti deputy commissioner from 2009-10.

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