Chief minister Nitish Kumar, who has brought about a dramatic transformation in Bihar after he took over the reins, has vowed his fight against corruption will go on.
Claiming credit for introducing a slew of path-breaking anti-corruption measures, he wrote in his blog recently, "It is a promise I fulfilled and my fight against corruption will go on."
Resuming his blog writing on September 13 after some gap, Kumar referred to the setting up of a primary school in the house of a senior government official facing a disproportionate assets case.
He said he was happy at having demonstrated something he had been rather passionate about.
"We have opened a primary school. Last Thursday, we shifted a primary school for underprivileged children into this house in Patna, seized under the Bihar Special Courts Act which our government had enacted last year," he wrote in his blog.
The building, confiscated by the Patna district administration following a directive from a special court trying corruption cases, was handed over to Human Resources Department which subsequently converted it into a primary school in no time.
The chief minister said the Act empowers the competent authority to confiscate the movable and immovable property of a public servant even during the trial and the government has set up six special courts for speedy trials in corruption cases.
"Such was a moment I had been patiently waiting for all these months to resume my blog writing. When it finally happened I decided to share my thoughts with you."
"The opening of a school in this building is no ordinary event, to say the least. In fact, this has happened for the very first time in the country. It embodies our government’s resolve to address corruption, even as it is being touted as a practicable measure to deal with incidences of corruption," he claimed.
The basic objective of the state's anti-graft legislation is to instill a sense of fear in the minds of corrupt public servants, he said.
"When they see that their property earned through corrupt practices is ultimately seized by the government, they will realise the futility of amassing wealth," he said.
Before this Act came into force, corruption cases against public servants used to drag on for years, the chief minister recalled.
In fact, the accused used to hire the best of lawyers to fight their cases while enjoying the fruits of ill-gotten money, he noted.
"There was no law for confiscation of their property during trial," he said.
The bid to confiscate the property of the corrupt public servants had started soon after the setting up of the fast-track courts but it got delayed because of the legal processes involved, Kumar wrote.
In the coming months, many more buildings are likely to be seized and turned into schools, night shelters or any centre related to public utility across Bihar, he cautioned.
He prided himself on taking many landmark initiatives to minimize red-tapism and check corruption at all levels.
"Firstly, I decided to put the details of my assets as well as those of the members of the council of ministers on the official website of the state government," he said.
This was followed by the decision of the government to make it mandatory for all government employees, up to Group III staff, to declare their assets on the official websites.
From the chief secretary to all the Group III employees, everybody subsequently posted the details of their property on the government websites.
"I also decided to get the Local Area Development Fund of legislators abolished because it had come under the cloud.....," he said.
Kumar has also decided to embark on 'sevayatras' from next November to set up camps at district headquartes for two to three days to create awareness among people about the Right to Service Act to ensure corruption-free delivery of public utility services.