HC grants anticipatory bail to two IAS officers in NAN case lodged by ED

Chhattisgarh High Court on Friday granted anticipatory bail to IAS officers Anil Tuteja and Alok Shukla in a money laundering case related to the Chhattisgarh Civil Supply Corporation scam.

The anticipatory bail order was passed on Friday. Justice Arvind Singh Chandel had reserved the order on separate pre-arrest bail pleas of Shukla and Tuteja on July 14.

In 2019, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had lodged an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, which was based on the FIR and charge sheet filed by the Chhattisgarh police’s economic offences wing (EOW) and the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in the civil supply scam. Tuteja and Shukla were named as accused in the ED’s case.

The counsel of IAS officers, Avi Singh and Aayush Bhatia said that while the ECIR was registered by the ED at its sub-zonal office in Raipur, the summons were issued by the ED office in Delhi.

The HC granted anticipatory bail saying that the charge sheet has already been filed, no recovery was made from anyone and no departmental proceeding has been initiated.

“The ECIR case was registered against them last year and notice was issued to them for the first time in the case in March this year. The delay in the issuance of notice has not been explained,” the court said.

Nan-Scam came into light in 2014 when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) conducted raids in various parts of the state and seized cash and documents. The ACB also recovered coded diary entries of pay-offs to officials and politicians.

Then in opposition, Congress party claimed that the scam is worth about Rs 36,000 crore.

In 2015, a PIL was filed by Sudeep Shrivastava in Chhattisgarh high court demanding an SIT investigation in the case. Shrivastava, in his PIL, alleged that the investigating agency saved few officers who were involved in the scam.

The PIL which was filed by Shrivastava says that of total 254 samples of rice 111 samples and out of 185 samples of salts 64 samples were found to be sub-standard and unfit for human consumption but were cleared by officers.

Shukla, then food secretary, and Tuteja, then managing director of the corporation, were not accused initially but were named in a supplementary charge sheet filed in December 2018, the lawyers said.

The two had been granted anticipatory bail by the HC last year in the ACB/EOW case, the lawyers pointed out.

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