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High Court stalls Majithia interrogator’s transfer

He was apparently transferred to Kolkata after he had questioned Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in the drug racket case. Majithia is a brother of union minister Harsimrat Badal, wife of Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The ED is under Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had made Majithia his campaign in-charge in May 2014 parliamentary elections in the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, which Jaitley lost. The court here put on hold the transfer of Enforcement Directorate Assistant Director Niranjan Singh on a petition of a lawyer here.

Singh had recently questioned Majithia for over four hours along with other ED officials in Jalandhar following allegations of Majithia’s links with three Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who were being investigated for money laundering connected to the Rs 6,000-crore international synthetic drugs racket busted by Punjab Police in 2013. The Jalandhar-based Enforcement Directorate Assistant Director had also earlier interrogated former Punjab jails minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur and his son Damanvir Singh in connection with the drug racket.

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership in Punjab recently slammed the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in New Delhi and the Parkash Singh Badal government in Punjab for the ED officer’s transfer.

Bajwa alleged that the Centre and state governments had “conspired to hush up the investigations against Majithia and other Akali leaders by transferring the ED officer mid-way in the probe”.

ED officials had recently complained to their senior officials in Delhi that their phones were being allegedly tapped by the Punjab Police and they were being pestered for information regarding the filing of challan in Majithia’s case. They had even approached the high court in this regard.
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