Chandigarh: Punjab and Haryana high court stayed the transfer orders of Enforcement Directorate officer Niranjan Singh, who was the main investigator probing cases related to the Rs 60 billion drugs money laundering in Punjab and had questioned Revenue Minister Bikram Majithia.
While summoning the record over the issue from the union government on February 2, a division bench of the court comprising justices SK Mittal and Depak Sibal stayed the implementation of the transfer order of the ED official. The court directive came on a PIL filed by local advocate Navkiran Singh on behalf of an NGO Lawyers for Human Rights International.
Niranjan Singh, who was posted as assistant director of the investigation agency at its Jalandhar office, was the main investigator in the drugs money laundering case and he was also part of the team which recently questioned Majithia in the same case in Jalandhar.
The officer was also the main officer for probe into a number of money laundering and forex violation cases that are being conducted in the state for a long time now. The ED had sought to downplay Singh's transfer, saying he has been "specially selected" to take over an "important
assignment" in Kolkata.
In his PIL, the advocate had contended that the probe in the case was at its final stage and the transfer of the officer was neither in public interest nor in the interest of justice. The shifting out of an investigation officer, playing a key role in the probe, was not beyond suspicion, the
petitioner had contended.
"In situations where the investigation officers of two important cases, the coal scam and 2G scam, were transferred and the Supreme Court found the same not to be in the interest of justice, it stayed the transfer orders and ordered that the particular investigating officers would remain as investigating officer till the completion of trial," Singh contended