Patna HC dismisses plea for CBI probe into Bihar’s ‘paddy scam’

The PIL alleged the paddy scam incurred a loss of nearly Rs 4,000 crore to state exchequer in the past five years.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Published:May 7, 2015 3:50 am

The Patna High Court has dismissed a petition demanding a CBI investigation into the alleged swindling of crores of rupees in the name of paddy processing by private players after the agency expressed its inability to take over the probe as it may find it difficult to deal with over 1,500 FIRs filed in the matter.

The HC dismissed the case after petitioner Shiv Prakash Rai did not agree to the court’s suggestion for a state probe.

The Indian Express had carried a series “grain of untruth” in May 2013 showing how the Bihar government stared at a loss of over Rs 500 crore in 2011-12 alone with millers failing to deposit government rice in FCI godowns on behalf of the state food corporation. The PIL alleged the paddy scam incurred a loss of nearly Rs 4,000 crore to state exchequer in the past five years.

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On April 8, the court had observed that the matter should be investigated by CBI. On April 21, the court had pulled up the CBI for filing an unasked for “counter affidavit” rather than responding to the court’s poser on its “readiness” to deal with case.

The petitioner’s lawyer Madhu Prasun said: “CBI counsel Maninder Singh expressed the agency’s inability to take up case saying the CBI had limited manpower and there were already several pending cases at different stages. He said as there were over 1,500 FIRs in rice mill matters, the agency might find it difficult to deal with it.” He said the court expressed displeasure at CBI’s response but added that the court was “helpless” under the circumstances.

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