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SC to look at Koda bail plea

New Delhi, Dec. 14: Supreme Court today sought the response of the Union government on the bail plea of former Jharkhand chief minster Madhu Koda, facing a series of corruption charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

A bench of justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad, while directing the additional solicitor-general P.P. Malhotra to be ready with the response in two weeks, scheduled the next hearing on January 4, 2013.

The apex court’s directive on Koda’s bail plea was on the ground that the prosecution had completed investigation and formalities, including filing of chargesheet. As such, there was no need for probe agencies to keep him under continued detention.

The former chief minister contended that he had spent more than 40 months in jail since August 2009 and no purpose would be served by keeping him in prolonged incarceration. He said he was willing to cooperate with the authorities in future investigations.

Yesterday, another bench of the apex court granted bail to former ministers Anosh Ekka and Harinarayan Rai for four months in cases pending against them under the PCA and PMLA.

In addition to Ekka, Rai and Koda, others lodged at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail include former ministers Kamlesh Singh and Bhanu Pratap Shahi.

While Koda was arrested from Chaibasa on September 30, 2009, Singh was arrested by vigilance sleuths from Hussainabad in Palamau district on November 30, 2009. Shahi surrendered before a CBI court, Ranchi, on August 6, 2011.

The former CM has been charged for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of incomes, money laundering and accepting bribes to fund his election campaign.

Singh has been charged for owning disproportionate assets and money laundering, while Shahi has been accused of receiving kickbacks from medicine suppliers.