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Koda pleads innocence; quizzed by IT, ED
Published on 8 Nov. 2009 10:47 PM IST
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Former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, who faces charges of laundering Rs.2,500 crore, was Sunday discharged from a hospital here and was interrogated by the Income Tax (IT) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials. Koda, who was admitted Nov 3 after complaining of severe stomach ache, left the hospital around 11.45 a.m. Heavy security arrangements were in place as hundreds of Koda supporters had gathered at the Apollo hospital. Koda was taken to his official residence in Ranchi which was partly sealed Nov 5. The IT and the ED officials also reached there to interrogate him. A department source said: “The IT and ED officials have prepared a set of questions. The questions are related to illegal transactions, money sent to foreign countries through hawala, investments made, mines purchased in foreign countries and the mines deals which took place during his regime.” “If Koda does not cooperate in the interrogation the ED will have to arrest him,” the source said. Pleading innocence, Koda said: “Charges against me are false.” When asked about the documents and proof collected by IT from his house, he said: “Ask them (the IT department).” Koda said he knew Vinod Sinha, the alleged kingpin of the money laundering scam. “I know Vinod Sinha but there is no business involvement with him,” he said. Responding to the ED summoning him to New Delhi Nov 11, he said: “I will respond to the ED summons.” A source in the IT department said: “We have come across documents and information related to investment in foreign countries and money sent through hawala. Koda will be interrogated to know about foreign investments and the hawala transactions and how the network was working.” Meanwhile, IT officials have started scrutinizing the mining deals inked by Koda when he was in power. Koda was the chief minister between September 2006 and August 2008 and had kept the mines and geology department with himself. He was also mines and geology minister between March 2005 and September 2006 when Arjun Munda was chief minister. “The special commissioner Ajay Kumar is scrutinizing the mines case,” said Ajit Kumar Srivastav, additional director of IT. According to sources, the IT department has sought details of mines, recommendation of lease, survey licences and others. Jharkhand Mines and Geology Director B.B. Singh has been asked to submit the details of lease recommendations made and granted during the Koda regime. On Oct 9, the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Koda, three more former ministers as well as his associates Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary. Vikas Sinha, brother of Sinha, was Saturday sent to ED custody for 10 days. According to sources, Vikas has admitted to sending Rs.40 crore abroad for Koda.

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