In a money-laundering case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) detained Jharkhand mining secretary Pooja Singhal on Wednesday. Singhal had appeared before the ED for the second day in a row in connection with a money-laundering investigation into suspected MGNREGA funds misappropriation in Khunti and other allegations.

In this case, the ED questioned her for about 16 hours over two days. She continued convincing that she is innocent throughout the interrogation, but she couldn't explain where the Rs 1.43 crore came from, aside from her income.

During interrogation on the second day, Singhal implicated a minister in connection with the MNREGA scam. On Tuesday, the ED questioned him about his sources of income, his participation in the MGNREGA fraud, and the money in his bank account.

During Singhal's term as deputy commissioner of Jharkhand's Khunti district, between February 2009 and July 2010, funds from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme worth Rs 18.6 crore were allegedly diverted.

Meanwhile, according to ED sources, Rs 17 crore collected from Pooja at her CA's residence and her husband's Pulse Hospital were investigated on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Singhal gave no specific response to the disproportionate assets matter. The ED has not yet said what charges her spouse was detained on.

On May 6, the ED searched 25 houses of worship across Bihar, West Bengal, Delhi, and Rajasthan, in addition to Jharkhand. Suman Singh, her CA, was caught with cash worth Rs 19.31 crore. Suman Singh was thereafter detained by the ED.

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Following the raid, mining secretary Pooja Singhal, who had been entangled in the dispute, took vacation till May 30. On Monday, she requested leave. She has said that the leave is for personal reasons. Pooja Singhal has taken leave, according to the bureaucracy, because of the continuing interrogation and strange mental condition following the ED raid. Her responsibility has not yet been assigned to anyone.

Pooja Singhal was interrogated for 9 hours in the MNREGA fraud case in Khunti on the first day. Officials from the ED questioned her about the 1.43 crore rupees that appeared in her account while she was DC. Singhal was unable to respond to this question.
 

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