Arrested Ranchi bizman a land shark, ED tells court - Hindustan Times
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Arrested Ranchi bizman a land shark, ED tells court

By, Ranchi
Aug 01, 2023 09:15 PM IST

Agrawal, a well-known businessman in Ranchi who owns shopping malls in the city, was arrested Monday night for alleged land scam.

Bishnu Kumar Agrawal, the well-known businessman in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi who owns shopping malls in the city, is “habitually” involved in acquiring land in fraudulent and illegal manner in connivance with government officials, including former Ranchi deputy commissioner Chhavi Ranjan, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) told the special PMLA court here on Tuesday.

Bishnu Kumar Agrawal in custody. (HT)
Bishnu Kumar Agrawal in custody. (HT)

Agrawal, who was arrested Monday night after being questioned for around six hours on charges of money laundering, was produced before the PMLA court on Tuesday.

The probe agency sought his seven-day remand but the court said it would hear arguments over remand on Wednesday and sent Agrawal in one-day judicial custody, an ED official said.

Agrawal is 13th person, including IAS and former Ranchi DC Chhavi Ranjan, to have been arrested by ED as part of its money laundering probe related to allegedly fraudulent sale-purchase of land in the state capital. The agency has recorded two separate cases in connection with the land scam, based on two FIRs registered with Bariatu and Sadar police stations.

Bishnu Agrawal has been arrested based on the FIR registered with Sadar police station for fraudulent sale of a one-acre plot in upscale Cheshire Home Road in Ranchi. Besides the Cheshire Home Road property and 9.3-acre plot at Namkum, Agrawal, in connivance with DC Chhavi Ranjan and others, also bought a 5.83-acre plot in Ranchi, which is in possession of the Indian Defence establishment since 1949, according to ED.

“Records of the land revenue department, Jharkhand, show that the above-said land is still in the possession of the army. Still, the land has been fraudulently acquired by Bishnu Agrawal,” the ED remand note said.

The agency has told the court that out of the 15 crore consideration money to execute the sale deed for the defence land, only 3 crore was actually paid while the rest was shown to have been paid through fictitious cheque payments.

“Further, investigations have revealed that Chhavi Ranjan has extended favours to Bishnu Agrawal in the fraudulent acquisition of several landed properties,” the agency said.

In its remand note, the agency has provided a list of five factual evidence to establish the link between Bishnu Agrawal and Chhavi Ranjan. It includes several FaceTime/Whatsapp calls between the two with disappearing mode turned on; exchange of draft orders and confidential documents between Ranjan and Agrawal.

Besides hotel booking and arrangement of tours for Ranjan and others in 5-star hotels, the agency said, the two also exchanged messages, including about investigation being conducted by the ED.

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