ED officer Niranjan Singh already back on job, all eyes on challan now
Enforcement Directorate (ED) assistant director Niranjan Singh, the officer leading the probe into Punjab's multi-crore drug racket, is already back on the job, even as the high court on Monday extended the stay on his transfer till February 26.punjab Updated: Feb 03, 2015 16:32 IST
Enforcement Directorate (ED) assistant director Niranjan Singh, the officer leading the probe into Punjab's multi-crore drug racket, is already back on the job, even as the high court on Monday extended the stay on his transfer till February 26.
Niranjan - designated investigating officer (IO) in the high-profile case in which some top politicians of Punjab are also under the scanner - had gone on leave after his transfer about three weeks ago. He resumed duty on January 27.
The challenge ahead is the filing of the challan in court before the March 11 deadline. That gains significance as Punjab revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia has also been quizzed in the case. In fact, the court petition alleges that Niranjan was transferred to Kolkata with the intention of influencing the high-profile case probe.
After Majithia's questioning, the ED had taken custody of three main accused and interrogated them at its Jalandhar office. Alleged connections between accused Bittu Aulakh, who is also a leader of the ruling SAD in Amritsar, and Majithia remain a key aspect of the probe. The agency has filed a challan against alleged kingpin Jagdish Bhola.
"Making documentary preparations for a challan is a tedious process. And, keeping in mind the past practice of filing challans within 50 days of questioning of the accused (the remaining 10 days of the deadline are kept for making other arrangements), the probe needs to move fast. A special team is assisting Niranjan in that," said a senior ED functionary from Delhi.
However, the agency has still not decided if Majithia needs to be summoned again. The challan could also decide the fate of other leaders such as former SAD minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur, SAD chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander and Congress MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh.