Get Honorary PhD

Money laundering case: Suspended IAS Pooja Singhal gets interim bail from SC, citing sick daughter in petition

Pankaj Prasad
Suspended IAS Pooja Singhal interim bail
Suspended IAS Pooja Singhal interim bail

The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail to suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal in a money laundering case so that she can take care of her ailing daughter.

The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail to suspended IAS officer Pooja Singhal in a money laundering case so that she can take care of her ailing daughter. 

A bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul passed the order while hearing an appeal against the Jharkhand High Court order rejecting Singhal's bail plea. Singhal was in jail for alleged corruption in the MNREGA scheme. 

Justice Manoj Mishra, who joined the bench, said, "We are inclined to grant interim bail to the petitioner for the purpose of taking care of his daughter for a period of two months from the date of release." The court directed senior advocate Siddharth Luthra, appearing for Singhal, not to influence the witnesses as alleged by the Enforcement Directorate.  

The agency's counsel argued during the hearing that Singhal's daughter was being medically managed and her husband (the girl's step-father) was there to take care of her. The ED had argued that there were serious apprehensions regarding the accused influencing witnesses when released.

The top court had earlier in January granted interim bail to the officer for a certain period in the case and asked the ED to respond to his bail plea. Singhal has been in custody since May 11, 2022, after raids were conducted on properties linked to him. 

The ED has charged Singhal, former secretary of the state mining department, with money laundering and said her team has seized over Rs 36 crore in cash linked to alleged illegal mining in two separate money laundering probes. Earlier, the top court had sought response from the probe agency on the interim bail plea of Singhal on the ground of ill health of his daughter.

Besides the 2000 batch IAS officer, her businessman husband, a chartered accountant associated with the couple and others were also raided by the ED as part of the money laundering probe. After Singhal's arrest, he was suspended by the state government. Singhal and her chartered accountant husband Suman Kumar were also arrested by the agency and a total cash of Rs 19.76 crore was seized from them.