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Government fund transfer scam was ‘daring’ but no one will be spared, says Nitish

The Bihar CM said he had already recommended a CBI probe into the scam as it required a deeper investigation, which would unravel the whole truth and identify all those who were behind it.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2017 20:34 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
Fund transfer scam,CM Nitish Kumar,CBI probe ordered
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar at the state assembly on the opening day of its monsoon session, in Patna on Monday. (Santosh/HT photo)

Amid continued attack by the RJD over the unique government fund transfer scam in Bhagalpur, involving crores of rupees, chief minister Nitish Kumar, on Monday, said the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the state would continue with its investigation till the CBI took over the case.

Expressing his surprise over the scam modus operandi, during an interaction with media persons in his chamber at the Bihar legislative assembly, Kumar said it went on undetected for far too long allegedly in connivance with bank and district officials and none - howsoever mighty they may be - would be spared in the case.

“I have already recommended a CBI probe as I am convinced that there is a lot fishy in it and requires a deeper investigation. The investigations will unravel the truth and those behind it,” he added.

Kumar said the moment he got a hint of the grave financial irregularities, he wasted no time in ordering a probe and sent a special finance department team to Bhagalpur to examine the matter in detail.

“The scam was detected after a cheque of the Bhagalpur district administration bounced and the district magistrate reported the matter to the government. Had that not happened, things would have remained under wraps due to deep-rooted connivance,” he added.

The RJD has been attacking the government ever since the scam came to light. The CM, however, reiterated that it was he who first brought the matter into public domain at an Earth Day function in Patna on August 9 so as to dig out the truth.

He, however, refused to speculate on the probable beneficiaries under whose patronage illegal fund transfers had continued. “Let the CBI complete the probe,” he added.

Maintaining that whatever happened was a serious matter, he said the probe would not only help apprehend the wrongdoers and recover government money, but also plug loopholes in the fiscal management to prevent any recurrence, by exposing their modus operandi. “The bigger issue is how the government funds got transferred to the account of an NGO,” he added.

On Lalu Prasad’s statement that he would move the Supreme Court to seek apex court monitoring of the probe into the scam, the CM said that was something for the court to decide.

“I got information about it in the morning and directed the officials to get deeper into it. Within a few hours, I was briefed about the strange and daring modus operandi of the scamsters. None ever told me anything about the goings-on before that,” he said, brushing aside allegations that he had prior information about it.

He said if anyone had sent a complaint through e-mail in the past, it must have been routed through proper channel to the department concerned. “Everything does not reach the top, as there is mechanism to address issues at various levels,” he added.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 20:34 IST