CBI lodges case against Kolkata Police officials, Hemant Soren’s aide

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday said that it has registered a case against one Amit Kumar Aggarwal and and others including unknown officers of Kolkata Police (Hare Street Police Station).

It has been alleged that Aggarwal used to help Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in parking alleged ill gotten money through shell companies.

After lodging the case, searches were conducted at different locations and premises belonging to the alleged accused in Jharkhand and Kolkata.

The CBI said that earlier a preliminary enquiry was conducted on the orders of Jharkhand High Court.

The High Court had directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry into the conduct of the accused into “scandalising” the judiciary, ED officials and other government officials.

“An enquiry has revealed that prima facie offence under relevant sections of IPC, Prevention of Corruption Act etc., is made out. Therefore, a case was registered,” said the official.

The High Court directed the CBI to conduct a Preliminary Inquiry into the conduct of Amit Kumar Aggarwal into scandalising the judiciary, ED officials and other Government officials particularly considering the Prevention of Corruption Act case of Hare Street P.S. case in which Aggarwal was the complainant.

The writ petition was filed by Shiv Shankar Sharma through his counsel advocate Rajeev Kumar before the Jharkhand High Court at Ranchi, wherein it was alleged that Agarwal amongst others were involved in the laundering of ill-gotten money of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, and others through various shell companies.

There was another PIL filed against Soren and Pooja Singhal, a suspended IAS officer, related to the mining lease acquired by Soren, CM and Minister of Department of Mines and Industries (he was also the forest Minister and he obtained Environment Clearance for the new lease).

Both the PILs were clubbed by the High Court.

The CBI’s enquiry revealed that earlier in the month of March, 2022, an attempt was made by Aggarwal through the then DC, Ranchi to influence Rajeev Kumar in connection with the PILs.

Aggarwal filed a complaint on July 31, 2022 at Hare Street Police Station against Rajeev Kumar and Shiv Shankar Sharma for illegally demanding a bribe amount of Rs 10 crore and for extorting the same for dismissing the PIL. The police filed a case on his complaint.

Aggarwal called Rajeev Kumar from Ranchi to Kolkata, first on July 13 and then on July 31 through one Sonu Agarwal and induced him to take money for getting the PIL dismissed.

Aggarwal had claimed he recorded his call with Rajeev Kumar.

“Aggarwal induced Rajeev Kumar to use his good contacts with judges and get the PIL matter dismissed and also offered him money and enquired about the amount of money required for the same. Aggarwal called Rajeev Kumar on July 31 and handed over Rs 50 lakh to Rajeev Kumar and got him trapped by the Kolkata Police,” the CBI said.

A preliminary enquiry revealed the Prevention of Corruption Act case was registered by Hare Street PS on the basis of the complaint by Aggarwal even without mentioning name of any public servant or unknown public servants in the FIR before invoking the sections of Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI enquiry revealed that the information provided by Aggarwal to Hare Street PS was false and the bribe was given to Rajeev Kumar by alluring him with an intention to interfere with the judicial process.

Contrary to the allegation made in the complaint to the Hare Street PS, it was Aggarwal who called Rajeev Kumar to Kolkata through Sonu Agarwal and offered him money.

Further, the conversation recorded by Aggarwal also did not reveal any threat of extortion from Rajeev Kumar to stop the Income Tax department from conducting any raid.

“Our inquiry has therefore revealed that Aggarwal had called Rajeev Kumar to Kolkata and offered and gave him Rs 50 lakh to induce a public servant to get the PIL dismissed. Hence, a prima facie offence under section 120-B IPC read with section 8 of Prevention of Corruption Act and section 182 of IPC has been filed against Aggarwal, unknown officers of Kolkata Police and unknown others,” the official said.

(Atul Krishan can be approached at atul.k@ians.in)

20230119-231603

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