The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday said it has attached assets worth Rs 4.53 crore, including 29 plots and deposits in ten bank accounts, of the main accused in the Bihar topper scam that had rocked the state in 2016. The action under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the Secretary cum Principal of Vishun Roy College in Vaishali district, Bachha Rai alias Amit Kumar, comes at a time when two CBSE question papers of Class X and XII have leaked and police is looking for culprits.
The agency, in a statement, said it has attached 16 plots in the name of Bachha Rai in Lalganj, Mahua, Bhagwanpur and Hajipur and 13 plots in the name of his wife Sangeeta Rai. Bank deposits in the name of his daughter Shalini Rai, a flat in Patna and a two-storey house in Hajipur of the Rai family have also been attached.
The ED had registered a money laundering case last year to probe alleged irregularities in this case, related to the state school examination board, taking cognisance of Bihar Police FIR and the findings of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the scam.
The scam had rocked Bihar in June, 2016 after Ruby Rai, a student of Vishun Roy College in Vaishali district who had topped in the arts category, failed to answer basic questions and went on to describe political science as prodigal science that taught cooking. Embarrassed by the irregularities, the state government had ordered a SIT probe in the matter.
It was alleged in the police charge sheet, the ED said, that Bachha Rai used to receive huge cash as illegal gratification from students for manipulating their results with the help of officers and staff of the Bihar School Education Board (BSEB) including the then Chairman Lalkeshwar Singh.
The central probe agency said its probe found that Bachha Rai “has laundered his illicit wealth by acquiring huge properties in his name and that of his wife and daughter, which could not be explained by them.” “Further, proceeds of crime have been laundered through a trust run by his (Bachha Rai) family member.
“Most of the properties have been purchased by them in cash, against which no corresponding withdrawal has been made from their bank accounts,” the agency said.
The ED alleged Rai and his wife manipulated their Income Tax returns and their agricultural income was declared “almost 70 times more” after the scam broke, as compared to previous years. The agency had booked a total of eight people, including former BSEB chairman Prasad and four principals.
This is the first attachment in the case and the ED said further probe in the case “is in progress.”