Ranchi land scam case: ED summons IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan for questioning
The ED summon to IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan comes four days after the federal agency raided 21 locations across three states including the official and private residence of Ranjan and others on April 13
The directorate of enforcement (ED) has summoned Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer and former Ranchi deputy commissioner Chhavi Ranjan for questioning in connection with a money laundering probe linked to a land scam in the Jharkhand capital, people aware of the development said on Monday.
“He has been summoned for questioning at the Ranchi zonal office on April 21,” an ED official said.
The development comes four days after the federal agency raided 21 locations across three states including the official and private residence of Ranjan and others on April 13.
While Ranjan was questioned for several hours at his residence during the raids, a day later the agency arrested seven persons on charges of money laundering in connection with fraudulent sale of at least two land parcels at premium locations in the state capital.
Those arrested includes two junior government staff working at circle office and land brokers who allegedly are part of a syndicate involved in fraudulent sale of land.
The present ED crack down is related to money laundering probe in connection with the fraudulent sale of around 4.5 acre land, possessed by the Indian Army since independence, besides one acre land in Cheshire Home road in upscale Bariatu area of the state capital, officials said.
Chhavi Ranjan is also under the ED scanner in the case as the 2011 batch IAS officer, currently director in social welfare department, was deputy commissioner of Ranchi when these land deals were allegedly processed, the people said. Ranjan was Ranchi DC from July 15, 2020 to July 11, 2022.
Ranjan is the second IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre against whom the federal agency has conducted raids in the past one year. Senior IAS officer and the then mines secretary Pooja Singhal was arrested on May 11, 2022 on money laundering charges in connection with the MNREGA scam. Around ₹20 crore was recovered during the raids at locations related to her chartered accountant Suman Kumar. Both are currently in jail.
Besides action against these two officers, the ED in past one year has also questioned two other IAS officers in connection with different cases.
The agency last month had questioned Rajiv Arun Ekka, principal secretary to chief minister Hemant Soren, after a video of Ekka emerged where he was allegedly singing official files at the private office of a businessman, Vishal Chaudhary, who is also under ED scanner.
The agency in January this year had also questioned Sahebganj deputy commissioner Ramniwas Yadav in connection with illegal mining scam the agency is probing.