ED arrests Chhattisgarh CM’s Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasia

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Raipur: A special court for Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases on Tuesday extended the Enforcement Directorate custody for Saumya Chaurasia, the deputy secretary-rank officer posted in the Chhattisgarh Chief minister’s office, till December 10.

Sources reported that the Enforcement Directorate has arrested Chhattisgarh CM’s Deputy Secretary Saumya Chaurasia in connection with illegal mining case.

The ED officials had alleged that Chaurasia was accused of working in close association with the main accused Suryakant Tiwari in an alleged illegal coal levy scam.

Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel had dubbed her arrest as “politically motivated”.

ED referred to the WhatsApp chats in its request to seek an extension of Chaurasia’s custody.

A 2008-batch state administrative service officer, Saumya has been a deputy secretary at the CMO ever since the Congress government, headed by chief minister Bhupesh Baghel, came to power in December 2018. She is said to wield considerable clout in the administration.

The ED officers had questioned Saumya Chaurasia on several occasions in the last two months before arresting her on December 3.

The other four persons accused in the PMLA case including IAS officer Sameer Vishnoi, businessmen Suryakant Tiwari, his uncle Laxmi ant Tiwari and Sunil Agrawal, were also present at the special court on Tuesday and the court extended judicial custody till December 10.

All the five alleged accused including Saumya Chaurasia and IAS Vishnoi would be presented in the court on Saturday. They were brought to the court amid tight security cover and entrance for the media and press was prohibited inside court premises this time while the hearing was done on the fifth floor of the court.

Sources said that the ED is expected to file a charge sheet soon against IAS officers and others who were arrested on October 13.

 

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