SC upholds CBI probe against Koda and others

A bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma rejected the plea of an accused Binod Kumar that the CBI inquiry directed by the Jharkhand High Court was not sustainable since the Enforcement Directorate was investigating the alleged offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act(PMLA).

"We have heard the learned counsel for the parties at length and perused the written submissions filed by them. On consideration of the totality of the facts and circumstances, "We are clearly of the view that no interference is called for. The appeal, being devoid of any merit, is accordingly dimissed" the bench said.

The high court had passed the judgement on August 4, 2010, for a CBI inquiry following a PIL.

Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for Kumar, challenged the high court order on the ground that the offence of money laundering under section 4 of the PML Act may be investigated only by the Enforcement Directorate and tried only by the Special Court.
He submitted CBI had no jurisdiction to investigate the offence.

The illegal money is said to have found its way to countries like Thailand, the UAE, Indonesia, Sweden and Libya.

However, the written submissions filed on behalf of CBI and the Directorate of Enforcement it was mentioned that on July 2, 2009, various cases were instituted alleging commission of offence under sections 409, 420, 423, 424, 465, 120-B of IPC and Sections 7,10, 11, 13(2) read with Section 13(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The complaint was registered on directions of the Special Judge, Vigilance, Ranchi, in which the names of Madhu Koda and former cabinet ministers Kamlesh Singh, Bhanu Prasad Shah and Bandhu Tirky also figure.

The prosectuion argued that the appellant Kumar is also involved in an alleged multi crore scam in a matter of grant of iron ore mine leases.

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