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ED heat on Sahi’s ex-aide

Ranchi, Jan. 29: Uma Shankar Malviya who once enjoyed clout in the power corridor as officer on special duty to then health minister Bhanu Pratap Sahi, has come under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the money laundering case involving his former boss.

The ED, which had booked former chief minister Madhu Koda and three of his erstwhile cabinet colleagues — Sahi, Kamlesh Singh and Bandhu Tirkey — in 2009 for orchestrating the great Jharkhand loot but did not go after small fries like Malviya, has now trained its guns on the latter.

The agency’s headquarters, while reviewing the probe into the charges against Sahi a month back, stumbled on some conclusive evidence against Malviya, which go on to prove that the latter was an equal partner in the entire conspiracy.

Sources said that the ED was now planning to file an FIR against Malviya and was exploring legal options and sections under which he can be booked.

“The proof against him (Malviya) strongly suggests that he should also be made an accused in the money laundering case. Two days ago, the agency sent a notice to him at his Ranchi address, but he was not available. He is important for us as he knows a lot about the massive loot of state funds that took place during the tenure of Madhu Koda as Jharkhand’s chief minister,” a senior ED official said on the condition of anonymity.

But catching Malviya is not going to be an easy job — something that the ED bosses are well aware of — as he has been constantly shifting his locations after his name figured in the CBI chargesheet in the disproportionate assets case (RC 5A/2010) against Shahi.

Malviya has already sold his house at Koyla Bihar in Kanke and moved to some other place. He has changed his address at least four times since 2009.

The ED has now asked the road construction department in Ranchi division, where Malviya is posted but is under suspension, to provide his current residential address.

“Malviya is under suspension. The ED has asked the department to provide his current address. I have asked the Ranchi division to provide the same,” confirmed engineer-in-chief of road construction department Ram Naresh Raman.

According to sources in ED, Malviya had negotiated various deals through which immovable property was acquired by Sahi in the names of other people.

He himself acquired a number of property from 2006 to 2008, when Sahi was in charge of the health department.

“The agency has found out that Sahi amassed property not less than Rs 50 crore, which were subsequently attached,” said the source.

Malviya is not alone.

Sanjay Kumar Jha, former private assistant of Sahi, is also under ED scanner and has been served notices too. But the sources refused to confirm whether Jha would be also made an accused along with Malviya in the money laundering case.