The Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday ordered a CBI probe into the Rs 4,000 crore assets of former chief minister Madhu Koda and seven of his erstwhile colleagues.
A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Sushil Harkauli and Justice D N Patel said a detailed and reasoned order would come later.
The court's decision came in response to a public interest petition filed by activist Durga Oraon.
Koda is now in jail in connection with disproportionate assets cases lodged against him by the state vigilance bureau. But under police custody he is now attending Parliament's monsoon session.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also carrying out an investigation after the countrywide income-tax raids conducted on October 30, 2009.
The others in the CBI net are Kamlesh Kumar Singh, Harinarayan Rai, Enos Ekka, Bandhu Tirkey, Bhanu Pratap Shahi, Dulal Bhuyian and Chandraprakash Choudhary — all ministers in the Koda cabinet. Rai, Tirkey, Choudhary and Ekka are legislators now. Singh, Rai and Ekka, too, are in jail.
The Jharkhand government on several occasions had argued before the court that there was no need to hand over the matter to the CBI.
Oraon in his petition filed in September 2008 had alleged that the state vigilance bureau was not competent enough to do the investigation.