Bihar's vigilance bureau lodges second FIR against IAS officer in scam worth Rs...

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The Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) of Bihar lodged second FIR against a serving IAS officer of 1991 batch, three retired IAS officers and six others for their alleged involvement in Bihar Mahadalit Vikash Mission (BMVM) scam in which funds to the tune to more than Rs 17 crore were embezzled, originally meant for the upliftment of mahadalit youths.

The FIR was lodged based the statement of VIB inspector Sanjiv Kumar against IAS officer SM Raju (suspended); former BMVM directors Raghwendra Jha, Raj Narayan Lal, Ramashish Paswan; Debjani Kar, then mission’s state programme director; Anil Kumar Sinha (OSD); Shashi Bhusan Singh(co-ordinator); Harendra Shrivastava (OSD); Birendra Chaudhary (assistant director) and Dr Birbal Jha (director, British Lingua).

The FIR was lodged under sections 406/409/420/467/468/471/477a/120b of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act. The mission came into force in 2010. The scam continued till 2016.

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According to the FIR, on October 4,2011, the BMVM had published an advertisement to impart knowledge about 22 trades including MS Office, Tally, spoken English and other courses to mahadalit youths through funds allocated under state government’s Dashrath Manjhi Skill Development Scheme and with special assistance from central government.

During an investigation, the VIB found that British Lingua Director Dr Birbal Jha hatched a conspiracy with the connivance of BMVM officials and withdrew Rs 17 crore between 2012 and 2016 financial year on fake paper.

In the FIR enclosure, the VIB revealed that the BMVM claimed, he had trained 14,826 students. But in the investigation, the bureau found that most of the students attended separate trade during same session and period.

“During investigation, it also surfaced that students whose names were in the list of firms as candidates who were imparted training and certification never really took any such course. Such youths had given a written statement that they had never been into any such training,” reports said.

Raju, who was suspended in January 2017, was in the thick of controversy in 2003. The then leader of opposition in Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, had sought his dismissal over corruption charges. Modi had advised the government not to accept his following his suspension in Karnataka where he had gone on deputation.

In December 2016, the VIB lodged an FIR against the IAS officer, along with 15 other officials for alleged irregularities in the disbursement of post-matric scholarship among SC/ST students pursuing technical education outside Bihar.

In April 2019, the VIB submitted charge sheet against IAS officer SM Raju, two retired IAS officers and five others for alleged involvement in scam wherein funds to the tune to more than Rs 5.55 crore were embezzled.

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