The Bihar government on Thursday decided to recommend a CBI probe into the alleged swindling of Rs 700 crore of government funds by a Bhagalpur-based NGO. The decision was taken after Chief Minister Nitish Kumar conducted a meeting with Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, Director-General of Police P K Thakur, Principal Secretary, Home, Amir Subhani and Inspector-General of Police (Economic Offence Unit) G S Gangwar. A notification will be issued soon.
A press release said that Nitish issued directions to the home department to recommend a CBI probe into the alleged scam. Sources said the government took the decision after investigations suggested the involvement of officers of nationalised banks and senior government officials. The tenure of nine district magistrates is also under the scanner.
The case pertains to alleged illegal transfer of government funds under various heads to the accounts of Bhagalpur-based cooperative society Srijan Mahila Vikas Sahyog Samiti Limited. The accounts were in two banks — Bank of Baroda and Indian Bank — where the government too has accounts.
The alleged swindling began in 2006 and continued till the death of Srijan founder-secretary Manorama Devi in February 2017. The matter came to light after government cheques started bouncing in March. Nine FIRs have been lodged and 11 people, including the district welfare officer, have been arrested. The cases are being investigated by the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police.
The police on Thursday issued a lookout notice against the NGO secretary and her husband. “The lookout notice against NGO secretary Priya Kumar and her husband Amit Kumar has been sent to all airports of the country,” Additional Director-General of Police (Headquarters) S K Singhal said. Priya Kumar is the daughter-in-law of Manorama Devi.
Deputy CM and Finance Minister Sushil Kumar Modi said the scam had made the government take a relook at all its bank accounts. “We have asked all principal secretaries, commissioners and DMs to update all government accounts and take statements and send monthly updates to the finance department. We have also asked for immediate action in case of any malpractice or discrepancy,” he said.