Hyderabad: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday began questioning Nanda Kumar, an accused in the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) MLAs’ poaching case, in connection with alleged money laundering.
The ED officials were questioning Kumar in Chanchalguda Central Prison. Special arrangements were made in the prison for questioning the accused.
The central agency which obtained permission from a city court to question Kumar for two days will record his statement.
The third Additional Chief Metropolitan Court had on Saturday granted permission to ED Assistant Director Sumit Goyal and two other officers to record the statement of the accused in jail for two days in the presence of his lawyers.
As per the court order, the ED officials submitted documents to jail authorities before entering the jail premises certifying that they had tested negative for Covid-19 to the authorities.
The court had directed the jail Superintendent to facilitate the ED officials to have access to Kumar between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The court had also directed the enforcement officers considered as police officials under the PMLA Act, must scrupulously follow the Civil Procedure Code under Section 50 of the Act and avoid using third degree methods to compel the accused to give his statement.
THE ED Assistant Director was directed to submit a detailed report along with relevant documents to the court soon after recording the statement of Kumar.
The ED already questioned the complainant in the poaching case, BRS legislator Pilot Rohith Reddy, for two days and Abhishek Avala and Arun Avala, Directors of 7 Hills Manikchand Pvt Ltd, in connection with the money laundering allegations.
The agency was suspecting that several transactions were made between Kumar, Abhishek, Arun and Rohith Reddy and his brother Rithesh Reddy.
Rohith Reddy, who is a complainant in MLAs’ poaching case, on Sunday announced that he would approach the high court against questioning by the ED.
The MLA wondered why the ED was questioning the complainant and not the accused and alleged that the BJP was trying to implicate him in a false case through the ED.
He claimed to have information that the central agency will try to implicate him by recording a fabricated statement from Kumar.
Ramachandra Bharati, Simhayaji and Nanda Kumar were arrested by Cyberabad police during a raid on a farmhouse at Moinabad near Hyderabad on October 26.
The police made the arrests on a tip-off by Rohit Reddy, who alleged that the accused offered Rs 100 crore to him and Rs 50 crore each to three others.
The Telangana high court had granted bail to all three accused in MLAs’ poaching case on December 1.
However, Bharati and Kumar were re-arrested by the police soon after their release from jail on December 8 in connection with other cases registered against them.
While Bharati was booked for holding multiple passports, Aadhaar cards and other documents, five cases were registered against Kumar for cheating and other offences.