Ex-Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi, Chhavi Ranjan, an IAS officer, who is being grilled by the Enforcement Directorate inside its office in Ranchi for the second time on Thursday, in connection with two land deals worth crores of rupees, appears to have got caught in a ring of the central investigating agency.
If he is like a conspirator, at some point ED sleuths wondered whom he was linked with and for what and for whom Chhavi Ranjan had signed files carrying bogus land documents. After he secured the prestigious post of Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi, he carried, moved land records, and signed with his earnest odes.
At present, he looks tense like a bland civil servant who did not anticipate landing in the ED’s net in the past when he is learnt to have run roughshod over his staff who got in his way.
“ He ( Chhavi Ranjan) is not ready to admit that he had misused his authority as Deputy Commissioner to ‘order’ issuance of the mutation paper to the buyer of the Indian Army’s land on the basis of just one panchanama which was used as a corroborative piece of evidence”, said a source in the ED.
As such, he ought not to have relied upon panchanama to transfer right over the land to the buyer. This is solid evidence showing his involvement in the crime”, said the same source in the ED.
Asked if the arrest of this IAS officer is likely, he refused to comment.” Let’s us see. Arrest will take place only after solid material evidence is gathered proving that he had conspired to commit the crime”, the same ED source added.
On April 13, the ED raided the premises of Chhavi Ranjan in 18 places including Ranchi, Simdega, and Hazaribagh in Jharkhand, West Bengal, and Bihar in connection with the land scam.
Investigations carried out on the basis of documents seized from these premises and other premises of his associates who were arrested earlier, had revealed that on the basis of “ fake documents” land plots worth crores were bought and sold.
The land deals were signed, ownership of land was transferred, registration was done and a record of rights ( mutation) was issued when Chhavi Ranjan was Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi.
The land and police records also revealed that he had used his authority to deploy 150 police force personnel to encircle the 7.16 acres plot of land and provide ownership and possession of this land.
When the ED sleuths gained land records from the office of the Registrar, the land records of the said plot of land were found “ missing.”
Notably, the then Registrar Rahul Choubey had written a letter to the DC Chhavi Ranjan informing him that “ land records” of the above land were missing. And yet, the DC Chhavi Ranjan ordered the issuance of mutation, it is learnt.
Having inquired and recovered fake documents in connection with the sale and purchase of Army’s land and another plot of land near Cheshire home, and finding suspected involvement of the DC Chhavi Ranjan, the ED on April 13 had launched raids in premises of land brokers and government personnel who were involved in the mega land scam.
Then, the ED summoned and quizzed Chhavi Ranjan on April 21.
Now, the ED has summoned the buyer of 1 acre of land near Cheshire home plots of land, namely businessman Vishnu Agrawal on May 8.