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After the notification of taking charge of the case by the CBI, the ongoing investigation by SIT appears to slow down raising several questions. Srijan scam which crossed embezzlement of more than Rs 1000 crores government money, creates doubts as no proper investigation is done yet to nab the real culprits involved in it.
“Police arrested person who operates computer printing or a poor driver of a banker in connection with multi crores’ scam but why not speaking about the IAS officers (DM & DDCS) and other higher officials including the politicians whose direct involvements are crystal clear in social media’s photographs and other documents,” was the question here on every lips.
Interestingly enough despite the solid evidences, no action taken or even any concerned officials are in a position to speak about the former DMs who played a key role in the scam.
“Why not responsibility were fixed on all the DMs since they were the actual custodians of government funds in a district. In the much talked fodder scam, Laloo Prasad Yadav was implicated by the CBI because the department of finance was under s his control with chief minister ship, along with other charges. Similarly, how a DM could escape if such a big unlawful activity was taken place during his tenure?” was the version of law experts.
There are at least three chances in which the ongoing large scale irregularities by part of the Srijan NGO could have been countered by the than officer concerned here, the special investigation team (SIT) came observed during the course of the investigation.
After recovery of some vital documents leading to many clues in the multi crores’ money transfer scam by Srijan NGO, from the possession of Pankaj Jha , district cooperative officer (DCO)Supoul, during the raids recently by the SIT, it is come to light that K P Ramaiya who served his tenure as district magistrate, Bhagalpur from February 2003 –July 2004 , on December 20, 2003 issued a letter (Letter No -1136-Developmment) to all the block development officers (BDOs), rural development agencies, Panchyat body members and all the government and non governmental organizations in Bhagalpur and directed for deposit of all types for funds to Srijan NGO, mainly for promoting it. Further, he clarified that since the NGO was registered with affiliated with Bhagalpur district central cooperative bank, also verified by him during his visit to Srijan NGO, and also recommended by the previous district magistrates and deputy development commissioners (DDCs) so after opening every types of departmental accounts with the bank operated by the Srijan NGO, the NGO could be promoted.
“It was totally illegal and unethical practice recommended by DM, Ramaiya because the Srijan Mahila bank was exclusively for the SHG members only. Secondly, since the Srijan Mahila bank was not affiliated with Reserve bank of India (RBI) or there was no banking license obtained from RBI by it, how not a single BDO or any other officer concerned objected the directive of the district magistrate at that time rather stared depositing huge government amount there,” pointed out Anand Mohon Jha a lawyer here.
The SIT however is searching for more documents which could disclose whether Ramaiya had intimated the government about such step for depositing government money to a private (illegal also) bank. If he had intimated, than why the government remained silent on it? If Ramaiya did not mention it to any one in state headquarters, even than what about the audit reports at that time which should have report such big and gross irregularity detected in the system here, the SIT remarked.
Another DM, Bhagalpur, Vipin Kumar (April 2005- March 2008) reportedly asked his subordinates not to deposit government funds further with the NGO’s said bank and the practice came to an end. But after his departure from Bhagalpur the system was reintroduced. “Now it is a matter investigation whether Vipin Kumar had made the government aware of the fact when the stopped such illegal practice ? secondly who reintroduced the
illegal practice and was it come to the knowledge of higher officer concern outside Bhagalpur?
The SIT appears more serious on such another instance in July 2013 when the matter of deposit of huge amount of money with the said bank of Srijan NGO came to the knowledge of EOU along with district administration of Bhagalpur. Local chattered account, Sanjit Kumar also highlighted the matter while writing in upper levels. RBI responding the letter of Sanjit Kumar, asked the district administration to conduct investigation. The than DM, P S Meena constituted a two men probe committee in which Pankaj Jha was also a member. But what exactly happened with the probe report, no one knows here. “We are trying to ascertain whether after transfer of Meena, his successor B Kartikey was aware of such development or not? ,” the SIT source said.
Expert concerned here however blamed the top ranking officials for such gross lapses under their nose. According to them one of the kingpin in the scam, Pankaj Jha already caught and important documents were also recovered from his position which would further help the SIT to reach to the IAS officers who once served this district.
“We are much apprehended that the top ranking bureaucrats with their political nexus somehow managed to divert the investigation and likely to fix entire responsibilities on banks and junior government staffs. But we are also hopeful that soon the case would transfer to CBI, the bureaucrats-politician nexus involved in the scam would be exposed,” said a top ranking bank officer here.
More interestingly, that very letter of former DM, K P Ramaiya was missing from district collectorate. When the SIT team has started searching the original office copy of the letter along with the peon book on which the dispatch of the letter was mention, reportedly found missing from district collectorate!