The Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) was left red-faced not too long ago when it launched the identify and of a businessman, Mahesh Agarwal of Adhunik Group, which runs coal and metal vegetation, in its checklist of most wished.
And so, for nearly 9 months, the businessman whose firms do enterprise in 1000’s of crores appeared within the “most wished” part of the NIA’s web site, normally reserved for world terrorists akin to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, and Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin, their native cadres, and others accused of heinous crimes towards the nation.
The company needed to take down Agarwal’s identify from the part final month after the Jharkhand excessive court docket, earlier this yr, requested it to not take any coercive motion towards him.
Agarwal, managing director of Adhunik Energy and Pure Sources Restricted (APNRL), which runs a coal primarily based transmission energy unit in Jharkhand, was arraigned as an accused by NIA in a cost sheet filed on January 10 this yr for allegedly funding the actions of a Maoist-backed group Tritiya Prastuti Committee (TPC).
The case, which dates again to 2016, pertains to extortion by Naxal teams from businessmen, transporters and contractors within the coal-rich areas of Bihar and Jharkhand. TPC, a Maoist organisation was receiving cash within the names of its chief,in line with the cost sheet, a duplicate of which has been reviewed by HT.
The company alleged in its supplementary cost sheet towards Agarwal that on his course, fee of Rs 200 per metric ton of coal was made to coal transporters towards work orders for the aim of paying to TPC operatives and village committees for clean functioning of his enterprise.
On the idea of the cost sheet, a Particular NIA court docket in Ranchi issued a non-bailable warrant towards Agarwal on January 17 after which NIA put his identify and in essentially the most wished checklist on its web site.
Agarwal’s lawyer Nitesh Rana filed an interlocutory software within the Jharkhand HC that by placing his identify in most wished checklist, the NIA broken his status. Rana stated: “My shopper has been falsely implicated within the case. He was an NIA witness until final yr. In reality, the company approached Particular court docket in Ranchi in March 2019 for recording his assertion below part 164 of CrPC as a witness. Nonetheless, abruptly, he was arraigned as an accused this yr even supposing his identify was not there within the FIR.”
Rana stated that that they had challenged the cost sheet however the company nonetheless went forward and included his identify in its most wished checklist. And there it stayed.
NIA officer, Subodh Sharma, stated in an affidavit filed earlier than the HC on November three that the company eliminated Agarwal’s identify from the checklist on October 21. The company, nevertheless, defended its fees towards Agarwal. NIA officers declined remark.