Coal levy ‘scam’: Court Extends Custody of IAS Bihsnoi and Other

Story Highlights
  • Attaches benami assets in connection to those named.
  • CMs Deputy Secy, Saumya Chaurasia emerges as latest accused.
  • Judicial custody of accused in coal scam extended until Jan 14,2023.

RAIPUR: A court on Saturday through video conferencing refused to grant bail and extended the judicial custody of IAS Bihsnoi , Surykant Tiwari until January 14th in the coal scam. Earlier in the day, ED on attached Benami properties worth more than Rs 150 crore in the coal scam case of CG. The probe agency alleged that a “grand conspiracy” was hatched in the natural resources-rich state to perpetrate a coal levy ‘scam’ in which Rs 540 crore has been “extorted” over the last two years.

Earlier on Friday, it filed a prosecution complaint before a special court in connection with money laundering scam in which Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel’s deputy secretary Saumya Chaurasia has been named recently.

The ‘prosecution complaint’ along with relied upon documents, running into 8000 pages, was filed in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Ajay Singh Rajput under Sections 44 and 45 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), said ED’s counsel Saurabh Pandey.

The complaint mentioned that an illegal levy of Rs 25 per tonne was being extorted for coal transported in the state by a cartel involving senior bureaucrats, businessmen, politicians, and middlemen. Besides, information on the land purchased through Benami transactions was also named.

IAS officer Sameer Bishnoi, coal trader Suryakant Tiwari and his uncle Laxmikant Tiwari have been named as accused in the alleged coal scam. They have been arrested by the ED under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after the central probe agency launched multi-city raids in the state on October 11. On December 2nd, the Deputy secretary to CM was arrested in the same case.

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