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Cabinet secretary not authorized to intervene in ongoing money laundering investigations: ED to Jharkhand govt

Ranchi: The Enforcement Directorate has written to the Jharkhand government saying that the cabinet secretary is not authorized either to 'intervene' or 'obtain details' in ongoing money laundering investigations. This came in response to Cabinet Secretary Vandana Datel's letter to ED seeking to provide information on an ongoing investigation under PMLA as well as the basis for issuing summons to the government officials including the Deputy Commissioner of Sahibganj. "The Cabinet Secretary is not authorized either to intervene or to obtain details of an ongoing investigation," the ED said. She had sought information from the ED's investigating officer (IO) about a money laundering case in which the agency has summoned IAS officer and Sahibganj deputy commissioner Ram Nivas Yadav and some others.
ED has termed this as an illegal interventions and asked Dadel to refrain from such acts which may invite the legal proceedings against her
"it is to clarify that the summons have not been issued to you personally...Accordingly, it is not known to us why are you interfering with the compliance of summons by the referred (who have been issued) persons. The provisions of section 50 (2) read with section 50(3) do not allow any other person who has not been issued summons to get involved in the compliance of summons by the person whom the summons have been issued under section 50 (2) of PMLA," the ED's letter read. The letter while explaining the limitations of the cabinet secratry's authority says that it is pertinent to mention that the Investigating Officer is not legally allowed to share any information about ongoing investigation with your office as "you are not authorized under the provisions of PML A either to intervene in ongoing investigation or to obtain details of ongoing investigation. " While warning not to intervene in the investigation, the federal agency has sought the explanation as to how and in what capacity the secretary has asked for the details of the investigation "you are requested to intimate the undersigned (the investigating officer of the agency) under which provision of law, you have been authorized to obtain the details of ongoing investigation under the provisions of PMLA as well as to justify your intervention in ongoing investigation proceedings under PMLA" Further in the letter the agency has said that it can summon anyone under the provisions of PMLA. Recently, the state cabinet passed a proposal regarding summoning of government officials by the external agencies. According to the proposal if a government official is being summoned by any agency hailing outside the state he or she will inform the Cabinet and Vigilance department, the nodal department, about this. The nodal department will give the necessary instructions to the officials. Right after this, the cabinet secratry wrote to ED seeking explanation on summoning of government officials. The agency had raided these people in connection with an alleged illegal mining case early this month. Notably, the ED is investigating multiple money laundering investigations against high-profile bureaucrats and politicians including Chief Minister Hemant Soren. 

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