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ED seeks seperate jail cell for Koda man

Ranchi, Feb. 11: Enforcement Directorate wants hawala operator Anil Bastawade to be kept in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Central Jail but away from the others accused in the money laundering scam allegedly pursued by former chief minister Madhu Koda.

The designated court of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Ranchi (PMLA), today allowed the ED’s prayer for his “segregation”.

“For safety reasons, we have prayed before the PMLA Court that Bastawade be kept segregated from all the co-accused lodged at the central jail in connection with the money laundering scam,” said special prosecutor S. R. Das, but clarified that they weren’t asking for solitary confinement.

Bastawade was interrogated for 10 days by an ED team in Ranchi from February 1 to 10 during which time he apparently revealed vital details on the scam.

Though the ED isn’t revealing any details, Das told the PMLA court that they would submit a report to Supreme Court.

Others facing laundering charges and lodged at the Birsa jail include Koda, his aides Binod Kumar Sinha and his brother Vikas Sinha, Indo Asahi Glass Factory MD Bijay Joshi and hawala operators Manoj Kumar Punamiya and Arvind Vyas.

The ED also sought the court’s permission to interrogate Koda, Binod Sinha and Bijay Joshi once again in the light of Bastwade’s revelations.

However, their counsels objected to the ED request. They pointed out that since all the other accused in the money laundering case had been questioned and regular trial had begun, there was no provision in law to allow questioning all over again.

The court reserved judgement on the plea.

Today, Koda filed a petition before the court, seeking to restrain print and electronic media from reporting developments in the money laundering cases.

“A lot of confusion is being created by media reports. This confusion created by media trial is adversely affecting our fortunes. There are adequate directives of the Supreme Court in this regard and hence I have prayed before the court to keep media persons away,” Koda told The Telegraph outside the court room.

The court reserved judgment on this plea too.