ED attaches Bihar IAS officer’s properties worth Rs 2.51 crore
The complaint alleged that Senthil Kumar awarded contracts to favoured firms and there was less collection of holding tax from prominent hotels of Patna. The investigation revealed that around 130 building maps were approved while ignoring rules.india Updated: Mar 29, 2018 14:26 IST
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached movable and immovable properties worth Rs 2.51 crore belonging to senior IAS officer K Senthil Kumar and two companies — M/s Sudha Super Market and M/s Chennai Café in Patna — besides K Indira Memorial Educational Trust in Tamil Nadu. These firms and the trust are run and owned by his relatives.
The move comes after the Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) filed a charge sheet against Senthil Kumar, a 1996 batch IAS officer currently posted as director, employment and training in the Bihar government.
He is an accused in a special vigilance case related to a scam that allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 8.76 crore to the state exchequer. Kumar, as commissioner of the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) during 2009-10, allegedly connived with builders and other private persons and passed illegal building construction maps.
The case was lodged against the senior IAS officer on the directive of chief minister Nitish Kumar after the latter had received a complaint of gross financial irregularities in PMC between February 2009 and March 2010.
The complaint alleged that Senthil Kumar awarded contracts to favoured firms and there was less collection of holding tax from prominent hotels of Patna. The investigation revealed that around 130 building maps were approved while ignoring rules. The ED had taken suo moto cognizance of the charge sheet and initiated investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
- A flat worth Rs 8.26 lakh in Jayshree Apartment in Patna in the name of Senthil
- Land and building of K Indira Memorial Educational Trust — worth Rs 1.97 crore
- Thirty-five plots at Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu in the name of family members of Senthil — worth Rs 37.84 lakh
- Available balance in seven bank accounts, held in the name of Senthil and K IMET — worth Rs 7.13 lakh
During investigation, it was found that Senthil had amassed huge wealth by corrupt means right from his tenure as Munger DM and later as PMC commissioner. He laundered his illegal wealth through firms — M/s Sudha Super Market and M/s Chennai Café in Patna — though owned by his younger brother K Ayyappan, was actually run by Senthil Kumar.
ED has found evidence of huge payments made to these firms by a person identified as Bimal Kumar, a contractor. The IAS officer used to park his alleged proceeds of deals with Bimal and for which Bimal was awarded huge government contracts. He formed a trust in the name of family members to launder his illegal wealth.
The K Indira Memorial Educational Trust, though formed in 2003, was made operational in 2008 from the cash provided by Senthil Kumar. An ED official associated with the attachment process disclosed that family members of the senior IAS officer have also manipulated their ITRs to conceal proceeds of crime — allegedly generated by Senthil Kumar.
The 1996 batch IAS officer was the PMC commissioner for one year when financial irregularities were allegedly committed. When the vigilance team visited his office on February 24, 2010, Senthil asked them to wait in another room pleading that he was going to bring the documents. However, Kumar sneaked out from the back door and disappeared in a private car.
First Published: Mar 29, 2018 14:25 IST