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ED officer in Nirav Modi case relieved, order scrapped by headquarters

The order divesting Joint Director Satyabrat Kumar of the charge of Mumbai zonal unit-I of the ED was issued by its top officer in the western zone, Special Director Vineet Agarwal, on Friday when Kumar was in London with regard to Modi’s bail hearing in the extradition case.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2019 23:46 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirav Modi,Enforcement Directorate,ED
A controversy erupted on Friday as the main investigating officer (IO) in the Nirav Modi money laundering case was relieved of his charge by the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai, an order overturned by the agency headquarters here within minutes.(Aniruddha Chowdhury/Mint File Photo)

A controversy erupted on Friday as the main investigating officer (IO) in the Nirav Modi money laundering case was relieved of his charge by the Enforcement Directorate in Mumbai, an order overturned by the agency headquarters here within minutes.

The order divesting Joint Director Satyabrat Kumar of the charge of Mumbai zonal unit-I of the ED was issued by its top officer in the western zone, Special Director Vineet Agarwal, on Friday when Kumar was in London with regard to Modi’s bail hearing in the extradition case.

As soon as the news came out, sources said, ED Director Sanjay Kumar Mishra cancelled the order in Delhi and restored the charge to Kumar.

Kumar, an Indian Revenue Service officer of the Customs and Indirect Taxes service, was divested of his charge by Agarwal on the technical ground and rule that no IO can continue at one post beyond five years. Special Director Agarwal relieved Kumar from all the investigations, including the $2-billion PNB Bank fraud case against Nirav Modi, and handed over the additional charge of Kumar to his immediate superior Additional Director (western region).

The order, however, allowed Kumar to continue probing coal blocks allocation cases as he was appointed IO in this case by the Supreme Court. However, sensing the controversy, the ED headquarters cancelled the order immediately. “Certain media reports have been appearing that Joint Director supervising investigation in the case of Nirav Modi has been relieved. This report is not correct and denied,” the ED said on its official Twitter handle.

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 23:46 IST