Koda aide wings clipped

New Delhi, Feb. 5: A key aide of Madhu Koda, being tried for financial crimes, was today declined permission to travel abroad for medical treatment after Enforcement Directorate told Supreme Court that it would hamper investigations into the multi-crore money laundering scam he helped the former Jharkhand chief minister pursue.

Manoj Kumar Babulal Punamiya, in judicial custody for two years, was denied permission to go to Singapore for stem cell treatment for cervical spondylitis after an apex court bench felt that medical facilities in India were adequate to treat the ailment.

"This is not one of the diseases where treatment cannot be done in India. Stem cell therapy is available in this country also," the bench of justices H.L. Dattu and Ranjan Gogoi observed, while refusing to accede to Punamiya's plea.

"There maybe people who have lot of wealth to get their treatment at expensive hospitals in foreign countries, but we do not want to entertain the petition. These people are involved in such crimes," the bench added.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi, appearing for Punamiya, said his client had got bail last year after being in judicial custody for over two years and was suffering from cervical spondylitis which required treatment through stem cell therapy available in Singapore.

Additional solicitor general P.P.Malhotra, appearing for the Enforcement Directorate, opposed Punamiya's plea cautioning that once he left the country it would be difficult to bring him back.

"Once he leaves the country it would be very difficult to bring him back. We want him because we want to confront him with another person(Anil Bastawade) whom we had recently brought from Jakarta to establish our case," Malhotra said.

The court then proceeded to dismiss the petition, but Rohtagi sought to withdraw it so that he could file a fresh plea once ED was done with questioning Punamiya and Bastawade.

Accordingly, the court allowed him to withdraw the petition.

Bastawade, another Koda aide facing money laundering charges in jail, was remanded to 10 days ED custody last week.

Earlier, a Ranchi court had sent Bastawade, arrested in Jakarta on January 21, to 14 days of judicial custody in the money-laundering case.

On January 29, Koda, who is facing a series of corruption charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was denied bail by the apex court which refrained from entertaining his bail application following opposition from the Centre.

The bench of justice H.L. Dattu and Ranjan Gogoi refused to grant bail after another additional solicitor general Harin Rawal told the court that the ED would require at least 45 days to complete the trial.

Hence, the accused could not be let off before that because he could "influence the witnesses."

The former chief minister had contended he had spent more than 40 months in jail since August 2009 and no purpose would be served by keeping him in prolonged incarceration. He maintained he was willing to cooperate with the authorities in future investigations.

Earlier, a separate bench of justice Aftab Alam and Ranajan Prakash Desai had granted bail to former state ministers Anosh Ekka and Hari Narayan Rai for four months in connection with cases pending against them under PCA and PMLA.

The bench had said the trial court would convert the provisional bail into a regular bail subject to their conduct during the four-month period.

The bench directed the duo to attend the trial in Ranchi regularly, but restrained them from staying in Ranchi.

In addition to Ekka and Rai, others lodged at the Birsa Munda Central Jail, Ranchi, include Koda, former water resources minister Kamlesh Singh, and former health minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi.

While the former chief minister was arrested from Chaibasa (West Singhbhum) on September 30, 2009, Kamlesh Singh was arrested by vigilance sleuths from Hussainabad in Palamau district on November 30,2009.

Shahi surrendered before the CBI court in Ranchi on August 6, 2011.

Koda has been charged for owning assets disproportionate to his known sources of income, money laundering and accepting bribes to fund his election campaign.

Kamlesh Singh has been charged for owning disproportionate assets and money laundering, while Shahi has been accused of receiving kickbacks from medicine suppliers.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

On Now: Kolkata vs Bangalore

IPL 7, GAME 11—Aaron's spell restricts Kolkata to 150-7. More »

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

Kolkata bowling vs Bangalore batting might

The likely return of Gayle will boost Bangalore, but the result could be determined by Kolkata's bowlers. More »

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting IPL will not save cricket

Boycotting the IPL as a means of protest against the grime in the game may not yield the desired results. More »

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gambhir a knock away from striking form - KKR coach

Gautam made an eight-ball duck in the opening game against Mumbai and in the second game against Delhi, he lasted only half those balls. More »

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

Rivals say Srini group delaying BCCI special general meeting

The group opposed to Srinivasan alleged that since BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel belongs to the president’s group, he was intentionally delaying the SGM… More »

April 24: A legend is born

As Sachin Tendulkar turns 41 - here's a look at some offbeat moments from the Master Blaster's innings. More »

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

Jadeja spins out Rajasthan in close chase

IPL 7, GAME 10—Chennai beat Rajasthan by 7 runs after last-over scare. More »

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

SL in 'difficult place' after Farbrace exit

Sri Lanka depart for assignments in Ireland and England in two weeks, and Sanath Jayasuriya suggested Marvan Atapattu would be interim head coach for those… More »

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Vithanage, Priyanjan get T20 call-ups

Herath has been rested, while the team will be without the veteran pair of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, who retired from T20 internationals… More »

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Chandimal axed as T20 captain

Sri Lanka's cricket selectors on Wednesday sacked Dinesh Chandimal as Twenty20 captain and replaced him with Lasith Malinga, while Angelo Mathews was… More »

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

'BCCI should have picked panel with care'

Dalmiya said that it was the first time that the BCCI had been faced with a situation where the apex court had hauled up the Board and it should have acted… More »

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

Farbrace is England's assistant coach

The ECB continued the restructuring of the England coaching set-up on Wednesday by announcing the appointment of Paul Farbrace as assistant coach. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

Sri Lanka players resolve pay dispute

The pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its 13 contracted players ended on Wednesday when the latter agreed to accept 10 percent of the participation… More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

'SC decision could hurt BCCI's status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »