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Koda case: IT takes possession of mines files

November 07, 2009 23:39 IST

The Income Tax authorities on Saturday took into possession some files relating to allotment of mining leases since 2004 when Madhu Koda, who is accused of hawala transactions, was the Jharkhand mines minister.

"We examined some files where mining leases were allotted since 2004," Income Tax Commissioner (Patna), Ajay Kumar told newsmen.

Koda, now an independent Member of Parliament, was mines minister in the Bharatiya Janata Party government of Arjun Munda in 2004.

Asked whether any new face had come under the scanner in the Rs 2,000 crore hawala and illegal investments scam that Koda and his associates were allegedly involved in, he said, "We are in the process of investigation, and I can't say now."

Additional Investigating Director Ajit Srivastav said doctors would decide tomorrow on Koda's release.

Koda was admitted to the hospital on complaints of stomach pain on November three after the launch of income tax raids on his properties.

On the files recovered, Srivastava said, they were seized during the countrywide raids since Saturday on 76 premises, including the residences of Koda.

Srivastav denied having come across any diary that allegedly revealed names of politicians, bureaucrats and journalists. "Our operation is not concentrated on any particular profession," he said.

During the day, the Enforcement Directorate and the IT department questioned two persons each, but Koda's key associates, Binod Sinha and Sanjay Choudhary, against whom lookout notices have been served, did not appear.

In the evening, a special ED court allowed the Enforcement Directorate to take Vikas Sinha, the brother of Binod, on 10 days remand for questioning.

Sinha, who was the first to be arrested yesterday after the scam surfaced last weekend, will now be taken to the Enforcement Directorate's headquarters in the national capital for interrogation to probe into the charge of money laundering on behalf of Koda, Binod Sinha and others, sources said.

Sinha has been charged under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC and other provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act by the ED.

According to the ED, Sinha, in his Income Tax returns, mentioned Rs 5,66,526 as income during 2006-07 which quadrupled to Rs 24 lakh during 2007-08.

Sinha also admitted during questioning that he carried Rs 40 crore in cash from Ranchi to Kolkata and transferred it for alleged hawala transaction on behalf of his brother Binod and Koda.

The 38-year-old Koda is the first former chief minister and high-profile politician to have been booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The ED had filed an Enforcement Case Information Report, which is equivalent to an FIR, before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Ranchi against Koda and eight others.

Koda was chief minister between February 2006 and August 2008.

Koda held the mines portfolio twice in two governments led by Arjun Munda between 2003 and 2006.

Meanwhile, Koda's wife, Gita, claimed before newsmen that her husband was 'innocent' and that she had faith in the judiciary.

She did not respond when asked whether she had given 11 goats to a temple for sacrifice as reported in a local newspaper.
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