Srijan scam: Amid beating of drums, CBI team proclaims accused as absconding

Published on Nov 23, 2022 09:55 PM IST

Rajni, daughter-in-law of Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti founder Manorama Devi and secretary of the NGO, is a key accused in the case, which involved illegal parking of funds of various government departments into the bank accounts of the NGO.

Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti office in Bhagalpur. (HT file)
Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti office in Bhagalpur. (HT file)
By, Patna

Amid the beating of drums at Sabaur, Nathnagar and Jagdispur localities of Bhagalpur district in Bihar on Wednesday, three officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the locals on a loudspeaker that a woman named Rajni Priya Kumar, an accused in the Srijan scam case, has been declared an absconder and that anyone having knowledge of her whereabouts should inform the probe agency.

Rajni, daughter-in-law of Srijan Mahila Sahyog Samiti founder Manorama Devi and secretary of the NGO, is a key accused in the case, which involved illegal parking of funds of various government departments into the bank accounts of the NGO.

The exercise, known as “munadi” in official parlance, was carried out on Wednesday and is a part of section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) which is used when a warrant against an accused cannot be executed.

“The special CBI court of Patna had declared her absconder in a scam case recently,” said Dharmendra Kumar, a member of the CBI team, adding that the next step will be the attachment of her properties.

Official familiar with the matter said Rajni, along with her husband, had been trying to evade arrest after non-bailable warrant was served to them.

Apart from “munadi”, a proclamation notice was also put up on the wall of her houses.

After the issuance of proclamation notice by the court, the absconding accused has to surrender before the court or the CBI will be enabled to start proceedings to attach her properties. In case of non-appearance of the accused within 30 days, the special CBI court said, proceedings would be initiated against her, under section 83 of the CrPC, which entails seizure of personal property.

CBI has not been able to trace her even five years after registration of case.

The Bihar Police has already issued a lookout notice against Rajni Priya and her husband duo to ensure they do not leave the country, officials said.

On March 18, 2020, CBI had filed charge sheet in the case against 27 people, including Rajni and her husband.

It is estimated that more than 2,400 crore was fraudulently transferred from government accounts to Srijan’s bank accounts with the help of officials, politicians, bankers and Srijan staff led by its late founder Manorama Devi.

The scam came to light in August 2017.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Avinash, a senior correspondent, reports on crime, railways, defence and social sector, with specialisation in police, home department and other investigation agencies.

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