RANCHI: Pooja Singhal, Jharkhand mining secretary, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the Rs 18 crore Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scam on Wednesday.
The development comes after the financial probe agency questioned Singhal again for several hours at its Ranchi office along with her husband Abhishek Jha.
An ED official wishing not to be named told The New Indian, “Singhal has been put under arrest under the provisions of money laundering.”
Her husband Jha is currently at the ED office in Ranchi.
After arresting Singhal, a team of doctors arrived at the ED office to conduct a medical examination and declared her fit. She will be produced before a court, the official said.
On Tuesday, the ED seized four vehicles of Suman Kumar, the chartered accountant associated with her husband. The seized vehicles included two Honda City cars, one Toyota Fortuner and one high-end luxury car.
The ED had questioned Singhal and her husband on Monday for several hours. Jha was also questioned on Saturday.
Earlier, ED had carried out searches at the premises linked to Singhal and other firms in Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Mumbai in connection with the case and seized cash worth Rs 19.31 crore.
The ED action against Singhal came after her name cropped up during the financial agency’s probe against Ram Binod Prasad Sinha, the then section officer and junior engineer of Kunti, who was arrested after 16 cases were registered against him by the state’s Vigilance Bureau.
The ED had earlier filed a chargesheet in the case against Sinha for misappropriation of funds.
Singhal, a 2000 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, was posted as the deputy commissioner in the Khunti district earlier.