Published On: Fri, Jul 17th, 2020

1 suspended, 3 ex-IAS officers among 10 booked in alleged Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission scam

Patna: The Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) has booked 10 former officials of the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission, including a suspended IAS officer and three retired bureaucrats, for their alleged involvement in fraudulent disbursement of Rs 7.3 crore to a private agency, officials said on Friday.

Suspended IAS officer S M Raju

The managing director of the agency, appointed by the welfare body for teaching Scheduled Caste youths how to speak English, was also named in the FIR.

According to the FIR, registered at the vigilance police station here on Wednesday, they were accused of withdrawing over Rs 7.3 crore between 2012 and 2016 against alleged fake entries of students.

The FIR has named suspended IAS officer SM Raju, who is former mission director and chief executive officer.

Then mission directors and retired IAS officers Raghvendra Jha, Rajnarayan Lal and Ramashish Paswan, and then mission coordinators Anil Kumar Sinha and Shashi Bhushan Singh, then assistant directors Harendra Kumar Srivastava and Birendra Choudhary, and former state project officer Devjani Kar have also been made accused in the FIR.

Birbal Jha, the managing director of British Lingua, the entity engaged in the English training programme, has also been named in the FIR. They were booked under various section of the Indian Penal Code for alleged cheating, fraud and criminal conspiracy, the officials said.

The Mahadalit Vikas Mission claimed that it provided training to 14,826 students between financial years 2012-13 and 2015-16. “The investigation found trainees were pursuing two different trades and sessions at the same timing (and) under same names and addresses,” a vigilance official said.

Altogether 40 students were supposed to be trained in one batch. However, the investigation revealed that same names were entered in other batches, they said. “Signatures of these trainees on two different registers were evidence against them (accused),” the FIR said.

The investigation revealed that the “British Lingua withdrew more than Rs 7.3 crore through multiple cheques between 2012-13 and 2015-16 financial years”, the vigilance investigating officer and inspector Sanjiv Kumar said in the FIR.

The Mahadalit Vikas Mission had started the spoken English course for students from the Scheduled Caste (SC) community in 22 districts by engaging the agency, a unit of Birbal Academy and Publication Pvt Ltd.

Terming the allegations as “false, frivolous and fabricated”, Jha said, “These sinister efforts are being made to deny the rights of the organisation and malign my reputation.” Others could not be reached for comments.

Jha said he had moved the Patna High court after the Bihar Mahadalit Vikas Mission (BMVM) stopped payment to the private agency.

PTI

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