Who is Pooja Singhal? Jharkhand IAS officer arrested in MGNREGA scam
New Delhi, May 11: IAS officer Pooja Singhal was arrested in connection with the money laundering case which is linked to alleged embezzlement of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds in Khunti and other suspicious financial transactions.
The probe agency recovered Rs 18 crore in cash from the house of a Ranchi-based chartered accountant who is allegedly linked to Singhal.
The 2000 batch officer is also the managing director of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Limited.
The ED is probing the charges of "irregularities" ]made against Singhal while she served as the deputy commissioner/district magistrate of Chatra, Khunti and Palamu between 2007 and 2013.
The complaint against Pooja Singhal claimed the IAS officer allowed the operation of Pachadumar sand ghat through her 'handpicked contractors' illegally without seeking wildlife clearance from the National Board of Wildlife.
Pooja Singhal is the wife of Abhishek Jha, the chairman and MD of Ranchi's Pulse Super Speciality Hospital.
The ED alleged that Singhal and her husband received "huge" cash deposits - to the tune of Rs 1.43 crore - over and above her salary in their accounts, during the period she faced charges of irregularities while being posted as the DM of various districts in the state.
The IAS officer allegedly transferred Rs 16.57 lakh from her "personal account" to those controlled or owned by CA Kumar.
The IAS officer, the ED had told the court, purchased 13 policies and paid a premium of Rs 80.81 lakh between 2005-06 and 2012-13 fiscal and later "closed them (policies) pre-maturely and received closure amount of Rs 84.64 lakh.