In Jharkhand state, one scam after another scam keeps rearing its ugly head, every few days. It seems that greed and corruption have percolated down from ruling élite and now it has afflicted almost every government officials’ hierarchy in the state.
Let us start from the top.
Petitioner Drags Deputy Chief Minister Hemant Soren in Disproportionate Asset Case
Last month, a petitioner Durga Oraon filed a supplementary petition before the division bench of Chief Justice Prakash Tantia and Justice P.P Bhatt of Jharkhand High Court; he had sought cancellation of Hemant Soren’s membership from Jharkhand State Assembly. This supplementary petition was filed in the Disproportionate Asset (D.A.) case against Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren and his family members. It is to be noted that Hemant Soren is Shibu Soren’s second son. According to the petitioner, the following property details of his wife which were not shared with the E.C. are as under:
- A plot of land measuring 30 Kattah on Harmu Main Road, Ranchi. It is valued at government rate of Rupees 80 Lakh, which can be estimated to be worth around Rupees 4 crore according to existing market rate. The said plot is registered in the name of Kalpana Murmu, the daughter of Appa Manjhi and wife of Hemant Soren.
The petitioner alleged that Hemant Soren had lied and cheated Election Commission of India (E.C.) by concealing Rupees 80 Lakh worth of property registered in the name of the his wife Kalpana Murmu in the affidavit filed with the E.C. during Jharkhand Assembly Election 2009. Rajiv Kumar, the petitioner’s counsel, told journalists that the case had been filed under Section 125A of the Representation of the People Act 1951 as amended in 2001 under which any candidate participating in the election is supposed to submit an affidavit declaring his assets registered in the name of himself, spouse and dependent children. In addition, the petitioner also accused Hemant Soren under section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act as one disproportionate assets case is still pending against Shibu Soren and his family.
The High Court had admitted the said supplementary petition.
Update on Black Tar Scam or Alkatra Scam of Jharkhand
Last month, CBI filed 22 FIRs in the Black Tar Scam and 125 persons have been named as the accused. These 125 accused includes 77 government officials and 48 non-government persons. Among the accused the names of few prominent ones are as under:
|1||Jyoti Indra Singh||Brother of AJSU Minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary|
|2||Anuj||Brother-in-law of AJSU Minister Chandra Prakash Choudhary|
|3||Satyendra Tiwari||Member of Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha (M.L.A.)|
|4||Purshottam Lal||Brother of Ex-MLA Manoj Yadav of Congress|
According to the filed F.I.R., many of these accused have used forged documents to take payment in the name of purchase of Black-Tar for road construction. The accused Government Servants used their official positions to make payments on these forged documents.
Jharkhand Public Service Commission (JPSC) Scam Update
Last month Jharkhand High Court bench comprising of Chief Justice Prakash Tatia and Justice Jaya Rai asked Jharkhand Government, the following query:
“In 2nd JPSC Civil Services examination in 2009, if there was scam in appointment then why only 19 officers faced the axe? What about 172 candidates selected through the same examinations?”
To refresh the memory, let us look back into the important events in the investigations of JPSC scam by Jharkhand Vigilance Bureau:
|August 2009||Governor asked Vigilance Bureau to Investigate the scam.|
|August 2009||Vigilance Bureau started the investigative process.|
|April 2010||Out of successful 172 candidates, the answer sheets of 22 candidates were checked by the Bureau.|
|May 2010||Bureau submitted report to Home Secretary; it alleged that 19 candidates were found to be involved in scam.|
|Names of 19 Officials found to be guilty by the Bureau:||Prashant Kumar Layak, Radha Prem Kishore, Vinod Ram, Harishankar Baraik, Harihar Singh Munda, Ravi Kumar Kujur, Mukesh Kumar Mahto, Kundan Kumar Singh, Mausami Nagesh, Kanuram Naag, Laal Manoj Nath Shahdeo, Prakash Kumar, Kumari Geetanjali, Sangeeta Kumari, Rajneesh Kumar, Shivendra, Santosh Kumar Choudhary, Kumar Shailendra, Hari Oraon.|
Now it would be interesting to see what would be the response Jharkhand Government (Vigilance Bureau) on the queries raised by the High Court.
Update on MG-NAREGA Scam in Gumla District
Recently, during an inspection visit by National Level Monitor in Gumla District, they came across the poor quality of vermin compost being used by some of the organizations, who were carrying out development work in the District. Vigilance inquiry was initiated into this Scam, after initial inquiry they lodged First Information Report (F.I.R.s) and Certificate Cases against such organizations who used bogus vermin.
In addition, the Vigilance Inquiry also came across another scam in the Jethropha and Medicinal Plantation under Mahatma Gandhi-National Rural Employment Generation (MG-NREGA) Schemes during the tenures of Himani Pande (presently Deputy Commissioner or DC of East Singhbhum) and Rahul Sharma (now Deputy Commissioner of Gumla). For the said plantation, Rupees 19 crore was sanctioned and Rupees 13.60 crore was paid in advance to 19 NGOs.
In her defence, Himani Pande told jounalists that in 2007-08, just before her posting as Gumla DC, 19 Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) were awarded projects for plantations of fruit trees, medicinal plants, Jethropa, safed muesli, etc under MG-NREGA in the districts. According to her, in January-February 2009 recovery cases of Rupees 10.03 crore were lodged by the Gumla D.C. The recovery was ordered after Jharkhand State Rural Development Secretary ordered inquiry and found wrong-doing in the cases. Further in their defence, both Himani Pande and Rahul Sharma further stressed that they had not released single penny for the said plantation under MG-NREGA as Gumla’s D.C.
Now in Jharkhand, even NGOs are getting their hands dirty in Scams.
Hopefully, the truth would come out during the investigation by Vigilance Bureau and all the culprits would be punished for the scam.
Update on Land Scam in Deoghar District
In the Deoghar Land Scam, last month Vigilance Bureau filed 2 FIRs under Santhal Pargana Regulation Act 188 (6)’s section 25 A, Santhal Pargana Kashtakari Adhiniyam ‘s section 53, Corruption Control Act section 13 (2) & 13 (1) (D) and the sections 423, 424, 467, 468, 469, 471, 477 A, 419, 420, 506, 201, 120 B, 109, et al. They have booked 64 Government Officials and their subordinate clerks.
This scam is big and complex enough to be investigated by CBI.
Update on Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA) Scam
In November, CBI also filed the charge sheet in Ranchi RRDA Scam vide Case No. RC 3/11 against the following RRDA officials and builders.
|1||Surendra Singh Mandilvaar||Ex-secretary RRDA|
|2||Ajay Sekhar||Then Estate Officer, RRDA|
|3||Rajkumar Singh||Then Town Planner, RRDA|
|4||Durganand Minz||Then Town Planner, RRDA|
|5||Shankar Prasad||Then Assistant Engineer, RRDA|
|6||Naresh Kumar Singh||Then Junior Engineer, RRDA|
|7||Umesh Prasad Singh||Then Asstistant, RRDA|
|9||Vijay Kumar Singh||Builder|
|10||Vinay Prakash||Builder and Owner of Hotel Sealark|
This RRDA Scam has ensured that in the past decade or so, Ranchi has experienced development of township in most unplanned and haphazard way possible.
In Jharkhand state, where Good Governance is still a distant dream, the appearance of new scams is certainly not the great news for commoner citizens (Aam-janta) of the state.
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