A lawyer based in Ranchi was arrested from the parking lot of a south Kolkata mall on Sunday night for allegedly extorting money from a businessman, police said.
Rajiv Kumar was arrested with ₹50 lakh on him, police said.
On Monday, he was produced at Bankshall court. He has been remanded in police custody for six days, the police said.
The cops said Rajiv had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in 2021 alleging that Hemant Soren, the chief minister of Jharkhand, had illegally allocated a mining lease when he was holding the mining portfolio.
Besides Soren, the PIL had named several others, including a Kolkata-based company and its director, officers said.
“The allegation is that Rajiv had recently contacted the company’s director and had told him that he would take care of him if he paid ₹10 crore,” said a senior officer of the detective department of Kolkata police.
“Following several rounds of negotiations over the last few months the amount was scaled down first to ₹4 crore and finally to ₹1 crore.”
Officers said Rajiv reached Kolkata on July 13 to meet the company’s director and work out the details of the modes of payment.
The police said Rajiv flew down from Ranchi to Kolkata on July 30 and met the businessman in a hotel in Esplanade in the city's central on Sunday to receive a part of the cash.
Later, the plan was altered and it was decided that the money would be handed over at the Park Circus-based shopping mall.
Late on Sunday evening when Rajiv was allegedly receiving ₹50 lakhs in cash in a bag from the businessman, police intercepted him.
After preliminary questioning when Rajiv allegedly failed to explain the source of the money, he was arrested and a case was drawn up at Hare Street police station.