A lawyers’ group has approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, seeking a stay on the transfer order of a key Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer involved in the investigations into the money laundering case in the Bhola drug racket.
The Lawyers for Human Rights International has submitted that several politicians of Punjab, including from the ruling party, were summoned by the ED in the case.
The group has submitted that it (transfer order) came as a bolt from the blue and the reason given by the ED in the media was that the officer was required to investigate the chit fund scam and Saradha scam in West Bengal.
Niranjan Singh, assistant director, ED, the main investigation officer in the drug scam, was transferred last week from Punjab to the ED’s Kolkata unit.
The group has termed the transfer not in public interest since the drug case was being supervised by the HC, and the ED had been filing status reports.
“Shifting out an investigation officer who is playing an important role in the investigation is not beyond suspicion,” says the application on staying the transfer order.
The application would be heard by the high court on Wednesday morning.
The group has reasoned that the chit fund scam and the Saradha scam might be of larger value money-wise, but the drug scam of `6,000 crore, having international ramifications, was linked to the lives of Punjab’s youth and was of a serious nature than the chit fund scam and the reasons given by the ED defied logic.
The petitioner has also submitted that the summoning of minister Bikram Singh Majithia had hit headlines and recent reports suggested that he was going to be summoned again. The petitioner has also referred to the news report in the Hindustan Times that the ED had verbally complained before the HC about its officers getting calls from the Punjab police to influence the investigation.