Tuesday, October 20, 2020

India: Former Jharkhand minister Anosh Ekka jailed for 7 years in money laundering case

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Anosh Ekka, a former minister in the Jharkhand government, has been sentenced to jail for seven years of rigorous imprisonment by a court in Ranchi in connection with a money laundering case.

The judgment was passed by Judge Anil Mishra, based on the findings of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Ekka was found guilty under section 4 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and has been asked by the court to pay a fine of Rs 2 crore.

Ekka was a former minister of rural development NREP, transport, panchayat raj and building construction in the cabinet of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda from March 12, 2005, to December 19, 2008

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If Ekka fails to pay a fine of Rs 2 crore levied on him, he will have to undergo additional imprisonment of one year. The ED has also secured an order to confiscate Ekka’s properties worth Rs 22.38 crore which was earlier attached to the case by the probe agency.

These properties are in the form of movable and immovable assets consisting of residential properties, lands, fixed deposits, balances in bank accounts, national savings certificates, kisan vikas patras, vehicles, rifles and pistols etc.

“These confiscated assets were held in the name of the accused, his family members and companies owned by him and his family,” the ED said in a statement. ED had filed a chargesheet against Ekka for laundering over Rs 20 crore while misusing his position as a minister in the Jharkhand cabinet.

In the order, Judge Anil Mishra wrote, “The efficiency in public service would improve only when the public servant devotes his sincere attention and does the duty diligently, truthfully, honestly and devotes himself assiduously to the performance of the duties of his post.

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The reputation of corrupt would gather thick and unchangeably clouds around the conduct of the officer and gain notoriety much faster than the smoke.”

ED’s investigations under PMLA was based on an FIR registered by the Vigilance Bureau, the government of Jharkhand, for misusing his official position and power as a public servant to acquire multiple movable and immovable properties.

Later, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had also filed a case against Ekka.

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