IAS Pooja Singhal questioned for nine hours, fails to answer many questions

Ranchi: Senior IAS officer and Mines Secretary Pooja Singhal was on Tuesday questioned for nearly nine hours by the Enforcement Directorate. She had reached at the ED office at 11.15 AM and left at around 8.15 PM. Sources said that on the first-day questions were asked to her over Mnrega Scam only. It is likely that she may be again called for questioning on Wednesday.

As per sources, Pooja Singhal could not reply as to how Rs 1.43 crore reached her account while she was posted as DC Khunti. At the time of Mnrega Scam worth Rs 18.06 crore which took place in Simdega district, she was Deputy Commissioner Khunti. The IAS officer in her reply to the officials of the ED said to probe the allegations of corruption levelled on her the state government had formed a fact-finding committee and that time she was given a clean chit. She said that at that time also she had given her reply and even
today she stands on the same reply.

She said that a copy of the reply can be seen by procuring the same from the government. When asked over the claims of former junior engineer Ram Biond Sinha who had claimed that 5 percent of the commission goes to the DC office on Singhal asked whether Sinha had taken her name.

She said that attempts are being made to drag her name in the case despite the fact that she was nowhere involved on which the officials of ED asked her as to why she made attempts to protect Sinha despite so many allegations being levelled on him.

Meanwhile, sword of arrest is hanging over Pooja Singhal. It is being expected that she may be soon arrested. After questioning her CA Suman Singh and Husband Abhishek Jha she was summoned for questioning on Tuesday. It has been also reliably learnt that to protect its image the state government is mulling action against Pooja Singhal.

On the matter, Chief Minister Hemant Soren has already had discussions with Chief Secretary Sukhdeo Singh and other senior officers. In most probability as an immediate step, she will be suspended by the government. On Friday simultaneous raids were conducted across 5 states in the country related to Pooja Singhal and her close associates.

During the raid, Rs 19.31 crore cash was recovered from the home of her CA Suman Singh while documents related to properties and investment worth Rs 150 crore were also found.

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