Chhattisgarh NAN 'scam': SC asks ED to show proof former IAS officer misused anticipatory bail

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New Delhi, Jul 9 (PTI) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to file an affidavit within two weeks in support of its contention that former IAS officer Anil Tuteja misused the anticipatory bail granted to him in the alleged 'Nagrik Apurti Nigam' (NAN) scam in Chhattisgarh.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Augustine George Masih expressed surprise that despite the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) having been filed in 2019, the investigation in the case is not complete yet and no complaint under PMLA has been filed. ECIR is the ED's version of an FIR.

"The statement of learned ASG was recorded that the petitioner will place on record an affidavit in support of the contention that the facility of anticipatory bail granted to the respondents (Anil Tuteja and Alok Shukla) has been misused by them.

"The impugned order granting anticipatory bail is of August 14, 2020. We extend the time granted to the petitioner to file an affidavit by a period of two weeks from today," the bench said.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) S V Raju, appearing for the ED, submitted that he does not want to file an affidavit as it will "paint a very bad picture of the judiciary".

When the top court asked Raju what has the judiciary to do with the allegation about the accused misusing the anticipatory bail, the government lawyer said he will file the affidavit.

The anti-money laundering agency made a startling claim recently about some constitutional functionaries of Chhattisgarh being in touch with an HC judge to ensure judicial relief to some accused in a money laundering case arising from the alleged multi-crore rupees NAN scam.

Besides seeking transfer of the PMLA case outside Chhattisgarh, the ED has sought cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to some high-profile accused in the money laundering case.

In 2019, the ED had lodged an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act based on the FIR and charge sheet filed by the Chhattisgarh police's economic offences wing (EOW) and the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in the civil supply scam.

The alleged scam in the public distribution system (PDS) surfaced when the state’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) raided some offices of the 'Nagrik Apurti Nigam' (NAN), the nodal agency for ensuring effective operation of the PDS system, in February 2015 and seized unaccounted cash totalling Rs 3.64 crore.

Many of the rice and salt samples collected during the raid were tested for their quality and were claimed to be sub-standard and unfit for human consumption.

While Tuteja is a former chairperson of NAN, Shukla is its ex-managing director. PTI PKS PKS SK SK