Seized gold biscuits turn silver in a year

Reverse alchemy

Can gold biscuits seized during a vigilance raid change into silver biscuits in one year?

In Bihar, where nothing is impossible, this has happened in the state capital.
Sleuths of Special Vigilance Unit (SVU) had raided the house of a motor vehicle inspector (MVI) Raghuvansh Kuer and recovered gold biscuits besides cash and other undeclared valuables in Patna in 2011.

All this was mentioned in the seizure list prepared by the SVU and it had the signature of Lalita Devi, wife of the accused, as witness.

However, one year down the line, in the second seizure list submitted to the vigilance court, the gold biscuits, as mentioned in the first list, were changed to silver biscuits. More surprisingly, when the seized items were returned to the accused family, the ornaments had silver biscuits, instead of the originally seized gold biscuits.

CM flummoxed

When the attention of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was drawn towards the anomaly, he too was flummoxed by the “dare-devilry” of vigilance sleuths. He summoned Additional Director General (ADG), Vigilance, and asked him to plug the loopholes in procedural matters so that there was no tampering with seizure list of articles recovered from any accused involved in graft or corruption-related cases.

“I have asked the officials to probe into the case and take action against those responsible for tampering with the evidence,” said Nitish.

Tanishq denial

Meanwhile, Tanishq has denied that the silver ornaments, which bore its trademark, were sold from its jewellery shop in Patna.

“We trade in gold jewellery, gold and silver coins and diamond, but do not sell silver biscuits at all,” said the company in its reply to the vigilance department.

The accused’s wife Lalita Devi has been charged with tampering with the evidence. A case has been lodged against her for tampering with the seizure list, while two police officials of the vigilance have got the boot.  

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