Bihar to take fight against graft beyond its borders

Bihar to take fight against graft beyond its borders

Govt mulls sending teams to UP, Jharkhand, Karnakata, MP, Delhi to trace illegal assests

In a bid to curb corruption, Bihar’s vigilance department is preparing to confiscate illegal assets beyond state’s borders.

“The government has been formulating a strategy to confiscate corrupt officials’ property outside the state and how to use it,” said an official of the state vigilance department.

The government will send teams to confiscate the property of corrupt officials in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and New Delhi. “We have information that corrupt officials facing disproportionate assets cases own flats and plots in these places outside Bihar,” the official added. 

The state government has so far initiated the process of property confiscation against 45 officials under the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009. 

The government confiscated the houses of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shiv Shankar Verma and treasury clerk Girish Kumar in Patna and converted them into schools for poor children. 

According to a vigilance official, Verma owned two plots in Uttar Pradesh. Both his plots will be confiscated.

Early this month, a special vigilance court in Bihar ordered the confiscation of the assets of former state police chief Narayan Mishra and his wife on corruption charges. The court has asked a magistrate to make the seizures within 30 days.  Mishra has been accused of having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. He owns a flat in Bhopal in MP and two plots in Hazaribagh in Jharkhand.

The proceedings to confiscate the illegal properties of some more officials, including former drug controller Y K Jaiswal, revenue officer Yogendra Prasad Singh, engineer Srikant Prasad and former Rajbhasha Parishad director B N Chowdhary have also been initiated. 

Officials said Jaiswal owned illegal property at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The state vigilance department has also moved a Patna civil court for direction to confiscate BJP legislator Sonelal Hembrum's allegedly illegal assets. 

The BJP is a coalition partner in the ruling coalition headed by Nitish Kumar of Janata Dal-United.

Nitish Kumar gave his nod for prosecution of 11 officials of various departments last year.