Bihar fund transfer scam case: Srijan founder, govt and bank officials among seven charged
The scam involving the cooperative society came to light when a District Urban Development Authority cheque for Rs 10.32 crore, issued by the district magistrate under the Mukahyamantri Shaheri Vikas Yojana, bounced on account of lack of funds.patna Updated: Nov 09, 2017 16:54 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed its first charge sheet in the multi-crore government fund transfer scam in Bihar against seven people, including the late founder-director of the cooperative society in Bhagalpur district that is allegedly the main beneficiary of the financial fraud.
The charge sheet was submitted in the court of special CBI judicial magistrate-cum-additional chief judicial magistrate Gayatri Kumari in Patna on Wednesday under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Prevention of Corruption Act.
Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti’s founder Manorama Devi died of illness at the age of 65 on February 13, while the other four accused named in the charge sheet are currently lodged in jail.
The others named in the charge sheet are Bhagalpur’s land acquisition officers Rakesh Kumar Jha and Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Bank of Baroda senior manager Barun Kumar Singh, Indian Bank accountant Ajay Kumar Pandey, retired branch manager of Bank of Baroda Arun Kumar Singh and nazir of district board Rakesh Kumar.
The special public prosecutor of CBI, Akhtar Hussain Khan, said land acquisition officers Rakesh Kumar Jha and Rajiv Ranjan Singh were evading arrest.
More charge sheets are likely to be filed soon as the role of cooperative registrar Satish Kumar Jha, Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti’s office-bearer Sarita Jha, Bhagalpur district magistrate’s steno Prem Kumar, Bank of Baroda officer Atul Ranjan and alleged middleman Vanshidhar Jha was also under investigation.
The scam involving the cooperative society came to light when a District Urban Development Authority (DUDA) cheque for Rs 10.32 crore, issued by the district magistrate under the Mukahyamantri Shaheri Vikas Yojana, bounced on account of lack of funds.
The CBI took over the investigation of the scam on August 25 after chief minister Nitish Kumar recommended a probe by the premier investigating agency.
The size and scope of the scam have been increasing by the day and so far diversion of more than Rs 1,400-crore fund from various departments in Bhagalpur, Banka and Saharsa districts in east Bihar to the Samiti has been detected.
Sixteen FIRs have been registered at different police stations in Bhagalpur, Banka and Saharsa districts. So far, 19 police complaints have been lodged and 18 accused arrested by the special investigation team of Bhagalpur Police, which began the probe initially.
One of the accused Mahesh Mandal, the father of a Janata Dal (United) leader, died while undergoing treatment in judicial custody.
“Out of 19 complaints, 12 have been transferred to the CBI. The other seven FIRs are related to embezzlement of funds at block levels and they will be handed over to CBI soon,” said an official at the state police headquarters.
The scam took place between 2007 and 2013 when deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi was the finance minister though the government says the Samiti was authorised to transfer funds in 2003 when RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife, Rabri Devi, was the chief minister.
The Samiti is accused of embezzling crores of money from different accounts of district administration with the alleged connivance of government officials and bank staff on the pretext of several welfare schemes.