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HC blocks transfer of ED officer who quizzed Majithia

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday put on hold the transfer of Enforcement Directorate (ED) officer Niranjan Singh on a petition of a lawyer.

Niranjan Singh, an assistant director with the ED who was investigating money laundering allegations against Punjab’s Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, was on Friday transferred from Jalandhar to Kolkata by his department.

Singh recently questioned Majithia for over four hours along with other ED officials in Jalandhar following allegations of Majithia’s links with three Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) who were being investigated for money laundering connected to a Rs. 6,000-crore international synthetic drugs racket busted by Punjab Police in 2013.

Majithia is the younger brother of union Minister Harsimrat Badal. Harsimrat is the wife of Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leadership in Punjab recently slammed the Modi government at the Centre and the Parkash Singh Badal government in Punjab for the ED officer’s transfer.

Bajwa alleged that the Centre and state governments had “conspired to hush up the investigations against Majithia and other Akali leaders by transferring the ED officer mid-way in the probe”.

The ED is under union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who had made Majithia his campaign in-charge in parliamentary elections in the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency, which Jaitley lost, in April-May last year.

ED officials recently complained to their senior officials in Delhi that their phones were being allegedly tapped by Punjab Police and they were being pestered for information regarding the filing of challan in Majithia’s case. They had even approached the high court in this regard.

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