Patna high court grants relief to Bihar IAS officer SM Raju in scholarship scam case
The vigilance bureau had detected irregularities in disbursement of post-matric scholarships to SC-ST students pursuing technical education in institutions outside Bihar prior to 2014.patna Updated: Jul 06, 2017 18:48 IST
The Patna high court on Thursday granted anticipatory bail to former SC-ST welfare department secretary SM Raju in a scholarship scam case.
Justice Birendra Kumar allowed the anticipatory bail application of Raju, an IAS officer, in the vigilance case lodged against him for his alleged involvement in irregularities in disbursement of scholarships to SC and ST students enrolled in various technical institutions.
Raju was posted as additional member, board of revenue, before he was suspended on January 12 for irregularities in distribution of scholarship among SC-ST students.
The state vigilance investigation bureau had lodged an FIR against Raju on November 29, 2016 on charges of corruption.
The FIR was lodged against Raju, then secretary in the welfare department, and 15 others, after detecting irregularities in disbursement of post-matric scholarships to SC-ST students pursuing technical education in institutions outside Bihar prior to 2014.
There were allegations that many middlemen had swindled crores of rupees through fake admission in institutions outside Bihar, many of which existed on paper only.
The vigilance bureau sent its teams to some colleges where students from Bihar were supposed to be studying, but found them to be registered on paper only. If some students were admitted, they left within a year and payment kept reaching the institutions even after that, sources in the vigilance said.
Sources said the guidelines laid down for scholarship distribution were clearly flouted in more ways than one and the middlemen seemed to have controlled the affair, as many institutions got money under the government welfare scheme without having any student.
The government ordered an inquiry by the vigilance investigation bureau following uproar over the issue in the Bihar legislative assembly. The BJP had insisted on a CBI inquiry into what it said was “Rs 50-crore scam”
Raju was in the thick of controversy in 2003 also and then leader of opposition in the Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi had sought his dismissal over corruption charges. Modi had advised the government not to accept the services of Raju following his suspension in Karnataka, where he had gone on deputation.