Niranjan on leave, unlikely to resume probe soon

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Jan 22, 2015 10:03 IST

Even as the Punjab and Haryana high court has ordered a stay on Enforcement Directorate assistant director Niranjan Singh’s transfer till February 2, the officer is not likely to resume the investigation into the multi-crore drug racket in the meantime, it is learnt.

The investigating officer, who proceeded on an indefinite leave on January 19, has already interrogated the main accused in the case -- Jagdish Singh Bhola, Varinder Raja, Sukhjeet Sussa and Bittu Aulakh. The politicians quizzed by the Niranjan Singh-led ED team include Akali cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Akali chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander and Congress MP from Jalandhar Chaudhary Santokh Singh. The deadline for the ED to file a challan in the court is March 7.

Meanwhile, uncertainty prevails in the ED’s Jalandhar office over handling of the case, with joint director Dr Girish Bali, who heads this office, away to Bhubaneswar (Orissa) for a conference of the central agency’s high-ups. He is scheduled to return on January 26.

The ED had on January 18 stated that assistant director Niranjan Singh and northern region special director Karnal Singh had been shifted “on administrative grounds”. Niranjan was transferred from Jalandhar to Kolkata, where, as per the ED, there is a shortage of officers to handle major cases, including the Saradha chit-fund scam.

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