High court orders CBI probe into Jharkhand bitumen scam
The Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Rs 1 billion bitumen scam involving the fraudulent withdrawal of money from the state treasury for constructing roads.india Updated: Jun 30, 2009 16:30 IST
The Jharkhand High Court on Tuesday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Rs 1 billion bitumen scam involving the fraudulent withdrawal of money from the state treasury for constructing roads.
A division bench of justices MY Iqbal and DK Sinha passed the order after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, which alleged that contractors in connivance with engineers swindled the state treasury of more than Rs 1 billion.
The PIL alleged that the quantity and quality of bitumen used for constructing roads was below the prescribed norms whereas the money withdrawn was marked for good quality bitumen.
After the formation of Jharkhand in 2000, thousands of millions of rupees have been spent on the construction of roads. But the roads become difficult to negotiate during the rainy season.
In some cases, fake bills were allegedly submitted to withdraw money. According to sources, in the vigilance department, 1,900 fake bills were found during investigations into the case that began after the scam came to light two years ago.
The state government had handed over the bitumen scam to the state vigilance department. The department collected some evidence against officials, contractors and engineers. The vigilance department was however moving slowly in the case due to the scarcity of manpower.
The court has asked the CBI to submit its report in three months.