Wednesday, March 29, 2023

ED summons Jharkhand IAS officer Rajiv Arun Ekka in mining case


J’khand govt sets up inquiry commission to probe allegations

Ranchi, March 14: The Jharkhand government has set up a ‘Commission of Inquiry’ under a high court retired chief justice to probe the allegations against former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Rajiv Arun Ekka for signing certain official documents at a private place.

A notification issued by the Department of Personnel, Administration and Rajbhasa on late Monday evening said that the “state government considers the issue to be of public importance necessitating a thorough, independent and impartial enquiry”.

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi had on March 4 released a 22 second video clip at the party headquarters here claiming Ekka “can be seen signing government files in the private office” of a power broker”. Marandi also wrote to Jharkhand Chief Secretary Sukhdev Singh seeking action against Ekka and departmental engineers.

The Jharkhand government, hours after the BJP’s allegations had removed Ekka from the post of principal secretary to the chief minister and transferred him to the Panchayati Raj department. Later, the government posted senior IAS Officer Vandana Dadel as the principal secretary to the CM.

The notification said, “The government of Jharkhand appoints Justice Vinod Kumar Gupta (now retired), a former chief justice of Jharkhand High Court and also former chief justice of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand High Court as a one member ‘Commission of Inquiry’ for the purpose of making an inquiry regarding all the issues and allegations pertaining to this matter.” It further said that the commission will complete its inquiry within six months and submit a report containing, interalia its conclusion, findings and recommendations to the government.

Incidentally, Jharkhand chief minister had also made Vinod Kumar Gupta to head one-member probe commission to probe into the unnatural death of Jharkhand police sub-inspector Rupa Tirkey, who was posted as Sahebganj Mahila thana in-charge and allegedly committed suicide on May 3, 2021 and also made the Vinod Kumar Gupta to investigate and prevent the role of railways in illegal transportation of minerals in Jharkhand earlier this month.

Earlier, the Bhartiya Janata Party on Monday sought a thorough probe into the conduct of former principal secretary to the chief minister alleging that Ekka connived with power brokers and departmental engineers.


Significantly, The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Rajiv Arun Ekka, the former principal secretary to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Wednesday in connection with the money laundering case linked to suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal, official sources said on Tuesday.

Ekka, now secretary in the panchayati raj department, is likely to be questioned on the alleged irregularities in MGNREGA scheme linked to the case.

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