The husband of a suspended IAS Officer has moved to the Supreme Court for seeking anticipatory bail in a matter relating to money laundering in the MNREGA Scam of the State of Jharkhand.

A Vacation Bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Rajesh Bindal said, “At the commencement of hearing Mr. Sidharth Luthra, learned senior counsel has submitted that in page ‘H’ of the petition against Serial No.11, in the first line it has wrongly been recorded “after the arrest of the petitioner”. The petitioner was never arrested in connection with the subject offence.”

The Bench asked the petitioner to serve a copy of his petition to the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra appeared for the petitioner while ASG K.M. Nataraj appeared for the respondent.

In this case, the 2000-batch IAS officer was the main accused in Jharkhand’s MNREGA Scam involving the embezzlement of public funds of Rs 18.07 crore when she was the deputy commissioner of Khunti district. The petitioner had married the said IAS Officer in 2011 and the allegation was that he had received proceeds of crime from her in his bank accounts.

As per the prosecution’s case, the petitioner’s financial fortunes soared after his marriage and cash started flowing into his bank accounts, which were allegedly the proceeds of crime generated through corrupt practices while discharging her official duties. The High Court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of the petitioner and asked him to surrender before the court in four weeks.

The Supreme Court in the above regard directed, “Question of issuing notice shall be considered on the next date of hearing. … Liberty to file additional documents to the petitioner.”

Accordingly, the Apex Court listed the matter for the next hearing on June 16, 2023.

Cause Title- Abhishek Jha v. Directorate of Enforcement

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