The arrest of his personal secretary Sanjiv Lal and his domestic help, Jahangir Alam, and the seizure of more than Rs 32.23 crore cash by the Enforcement Directorate( ED), has left Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam in a denial mode.

“It’s not an appropriate time to speak about the seized cash. What impact it will leave remains to be seen”, Alam is quoted as having replied to a question by local Hindi Daily Dainik Bhaskar on April 7, 2023.

Alamgir Alam says that he did not have any official information on the ED action. “I don’t know what is being said about it, but the PS (personal secretary) is a government officer and we keep such people who have experience. Sanjiv Lal has been a PS to ministers before,” he had said without naming Jahangir Alam who was his domestic help.

Alongside, the accused Sanjiv Lal reportedly turned unconscious after getting tip-off about the “ raids” and seizure of all his cash by the ED.”

However, a day after conducting raids at various sites in Ranchi, the ED arrested Sanjiv Lal, the personal secretary of Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam, along with the minister’s domestic help Jehangir Slam on Monday- Tuesday night. They took them on remand after producing them in the PMLA court.

ED has confirmed the seizure of more than Rs 32 crore in cash from a flat linked to them. The duo was arrested under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after being questioned overnight. 

Notably, the two didn’t cooperate with the investigation and avoided answering the questions asked by the ED officials. 

On Monday, ED carried out raids on a two-bedroom flat in Ranchi as part of a money-laundering investigation into alleged irregularities in the state rural development department. 

The flat, reportedly occupied by Lal’s domestic help, Jehangir Alam, situated at Gadikhana Chowk, yielded over Rs 32 crore in cash. 

Additionally, Rs 3 crore was found in other searched premises, totaling a cash recovery of Rs 35.23 crore, according to PTI sources. However, Jharkhand’s rural development minister Alam, who belongs to the Congress party, denied any wrongdoing. 

 Meanwhile, the probe agency also found an official communication from May 2023 at the flat, written by the Ranchi unit of the ED to the Jharkhand chief secretary. It sought an independent probe and FIR registration into alleged bribes taken from contractors working for the state rural development department. 

These alleged disclosures came from the former chief engineer of the rural works department, Veerendra Kumar Ram, arrested by the ED last year. 

The premises also yielded recommendation letters from MLAs and other influential figures to Alam for favorable transfers and postings of state government officials. 

The searches that resulted in a significant amount of cash recovery were part of an investigation into money laundering involving Ram. The ED claimed that Ram, while working as the chief engineer in the Rural Works Department in Ranchi, received commission from contractors for tender allotments.

Ram and his family spent this money on living a luxurious life, according to the ED’s statement from April last year. The money-laundering case against Ram stemmed from a complaint by the Jharkhand Anti-Corruption Bureau.


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