Chhavi Ranjan is a 2011 batch IAS officer (Indian Administrative Services) of the Jharkhand Cadre. He served as Deputy Commissioner of many districts of Jharkhand including Ranchi and Koderma. He was arrested on 4 May 2023 for the illegal purchase and sale of land belonging to the Indian Army during his stint as Ranchi DC.
Chhavi Ranjan was born on Tuesday, 29 December 1981 (age 41 years; as of 2022) in Kadma, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (then Bihar), India. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. He studied till 10th standard at St Mary’s Hindi High School, Bistupur, Jamshedpur (1999) and passed 11th and 12th standard at Vidya Bharati Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Telco Colony, Jamshedpur. He pursued a Bachelor of Science (Honours) (B.Sc.) in Physics at St Stephen’s College, Delhi and passed in first division with distinction. He later pursued a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Physics from the same college and passed in the first division. Chhavi cleared the UPSC examination in 2011 by securing the All India 125 rank and trained at the prestigious Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy Of Administration (LBSNAA), Mussoorie from 29 August 2011 to 4 May 2012. He went on to serve in many areas of Jharkhand as a Jharkhand Cadre IAS Officer.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
He belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents & Siblings
There is not much information about his parents and siblings.
Wife & Children
In 2022, he divorced his first wife named Lovely Ranjan and married a woman of another caste. He has a son and a daughter from his marriage.
Career Progression as an IAS
Additional District Magistrate (ADM) & Assistant Collector, Dumka
On 4 May 2012, he joined the Dumka District Administration in Jharkhand as Assistant Collector and Additional District Magistrate (ADM) and looked after land revenue management, district administration, and sub-divisional administration. He served as ADM Dumka till 25 August 2013.
Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) & Sub Divisional Officer (SDO), Chakradharpur
On 26 August 2013, he joined the Chakradharpur Administration in the West Singbhum district of Jharkhand as Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) and worked in the field of land revenue management, district administration, and sub-divisional administration. He served there till 26 August 2014.
Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC), Lohardaga
On 26 August 2014, he joined the Lohardaga District Administration as Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC) and worked for rural development till 13 February 2015.
Deputy Commissioner (DC), Koderma
On 14 February 2015, he joined the Koderma District Administration as Deputy Commissioner (DC) and looked after land management and district administration. He served there till 22 December 2015.
Municipal Commissioner (MC), Dhanbad
On 23 December 2015, he joined the Dhanbad Municipal Corporation as Municipal Commissioner (MC) and worked for urban development till 26 June 2016.
Joint Secretary, Department of Food, Public Distribution & Consumer Affairs
On 27 June 2016, he was promoted to the designation of Joint Secretary in the Department of Food, Public Distribution & Consumer Affairs of the Jharkhand state government. He served there till 13 June 2017.
Deputy Commissioner (DC), Seraikela Kharsawan
On 15 June 2017, he joined the Seraikela Kharsawan District Administration as Deputy Commissioner (DC) and worked for rural development till 30 June 2019.
Director of State Agriculture Department
On 2 July 2019, he joined the state agriculture department of Jharkhand as Director. He looked after the circulation of seeds among the farmers, crop production, and distribution of food and served there till 13 July 2020.
Deputy Commissioner (DC), Ranchi
On 15 July 2020, he joined the Ranchi District Administration as Deputy Commissioner (DC). He launched various projects for the upliftment of society including Project Pavitra for menstrual hygiene awareness, Wall of Transparency for spreading awareness about government schemes, Bhoomi Vivad Nivaran for the resolution of illegal land acquisition cases, and Sarkar Aapke Dwar in rural areas of Ranchi. He served there till 9 July 2022.
Director of Social Welfare and Social Security
On 11 July 2022, he joined as the Director of Social Welfare and Social Security departments of Jharkhand. He was also the Project Director of the Jharkhand Women Development Society when he was arrested on 4 May 2023 for illegal land deals.
Illegal Tree Cutting
When Chhavi Ranjan was the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the Koderma district in 2015, he got five Sagvan trees and one Sheesham tree illegally cut down at the premises of the Koderma District Council following which an FIR was registered at Markacho Police Station. His name was not included in the FIR; however, when the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) interrogated the workers of the wood sawing company, they revealed his name following which his name was added to the charge sheet. They also interrogated Chhavi while investigating the case. The matter was dissolved later and no action was taken against Chhavi as ACB had not taken permission to file the case.
Defence Land Scam
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested Chhavi Ranjan on 4 May 2023 for playing a key role in illegal land deals by forging the documents of various lands. An FIR was registered in 2022 at Bariatu Police Station, Ranchi by Dilip Sharma, tax collector of Ranchi Municipal Corporation for the illegal sale and purchase of 4.5 acres of land belonging to the Indian Army and one-acre land in the Cheshire Home Road area of Ranchi. The forgery was discovered during the investigation of Jayant Karnad following which case was taken over by ED. In February 2023, ED raided the Bargain Circle office and the office of the Registrar of Assurances in Kolkata where they found documents which indicated the forgery of land papers to sell the land. ED claimed while investigating that the deal happened after forging the land documents by the syndicate of builders and government officials, and Chhavi was DC Ranchi when it took place.
ED found during the investigation that BM Laxman Rao was the original owner of the land who handed it over to the Indian Army after independence. The syndicate made a person named Pradeep Bagchi the fake owner of the land worth Rs 20 crores and sold it to Dilip Kumar Ghosh, a person working for the West Bengal-based company Jagatbandhu Tea Estate Pvt Limited at an undervalued price of Rs 7 crores. Rs 25 lakhs were paid to Bagchi and the rest of the payment was shown paid through cheques in the name of the company; however, that was done to show the transaction as genuine. ED later arrested seven people including Imtiaz Ahmed, Pradeep Bagchi, Talha Khan, Faiyaz Khanangle, Md Saddam Hussain, Afshar Ali, a government hospital employee, and Bhanu Partap Prasad, revenue sub-inspector with the Bargain Circle office in Ranchi.
ED alleged that Chhavi colluded with the syndicate for illegal land deals and questioned him twice on 13 April 2023 and 24 April 2023. ED raided more than 20 locations including Chhavi Ranjan’s house on 13 April 2023 across Jharkhand, Bihar, and West Bengal and found many land papers, forged seals, stamps bearing impressions of several offices, and official records of Registrar of Assurances.
ED raided Chahhvi Ranjan’s houses in Kadma around 6:30 am on 13 April 2023 following which they found that he had already shifted to a new home and vacated the flat. They also found that there were three gates before his master bedroom. Chhavi was summoned for interrogation on 4 May 2023. He reached the ED office at 10:45 am on 4 May 2023, and after interrogating him for 10 hours, ED arrested him under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). He was produced in court on 5 May 2023.
As of April 2020, his monthly salary was in the pay grade of Senior Timescale Level 11 (67700 – 208700) Paygrade.
- Chhavi Ranjan’s parents wanted him to become an engineer; however, he wanted to become an IAS.
- He was one of the frontrunners for the selection for Election Duty in Karnataka in April 2023; however, when his name came up during the illegal land scam investigation, his name was removed from the list.
- When he divorced his first wife and got married to a woman of a different caste, his parents stopped talking to him and started living separately in another house.