Madhu Koda: Question time
Ranchi, Jan. 21: After a lull of a little over two months, a team of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today resumed interrogation of former chief minister Madhu Koda in jail in connection with alleged money laundering to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees.
Around 12 noon, a four-member team headed by EDs deputy director, Prabha Kant, reached the Birsa Munda Central Jail at Hotwar in Ranchi to begin questioning the former chief minister who was arrested by the state vigilance bureau from Chaibasa on November 30 last year.
Koda, who also faces charges of owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, was grilled for more than five hours inside the jail, the venue chosen by ED for security reasons.
Sources revealed the ED team carried with it a long list of questions for Koda, seeking details on the modus operandi of his associates used to divert funds from various state departments, the nature and extent of investments made within and outside the country and the role of various hawala operators who allegedly helped them channel funds abroad.
However, ED officials declined to divulge details of their findings, adding that their questioning would continue tomorrow.
ED had got permission to interrogate Koda at the central jail from the special court, designated to handle cases lodged under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, on December 19 last year.
Sources said now much would depend on how much information Koda chose to part with, adding that the former chief minister wasnt very cooperative with ED officials today.
Ever since his arrest on November 30 last year, Koda was first admitted to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, Ranchi, and later shifted to Apollo Hospital, Ranchi for treatment of a urinary tract infection and removal of a stent that was inserted into his kidneys in September last year.
It was only in January that Koda was finally released and sent back to jail, thereby paving the way for his interrogation by ED.
The last time the former chief minister was interrogated by ED was on November 12 last year. The following day, he Koda left for Chaibasa to campaign for his wife, Geeta, who was contesting the Jagannathpur Assembly seat.
Though several reminders were sent to Koda to return to Ranchi for interrogation, Koda refused saying he was busy with the Assembly elections.
However, on November 30, he was arrested by the state vigilance and lodged at the Ranchi central jail.