September 21, 2018

Vigilance judge rejects IAS Raju’s bail

Patna: Special vigilance judge Madhukar Kumar on Saturday rejected suspended IAS officer S.M. Raju’s anticipatory bail plea on finding him guilty of causing a loss of Rs 3.28 crore to the state exchequer by giving rights to two agencies for executing schemes under the Mahadalit Vikas Mission.

Under the scheme Mahadalits were to be trained and given certificates so that they could get jobs. The scheme was launched in 2007, but training began only in 2010. Raju was director of the mission for two terms – February 20, 2013, to January 21, 2014, and November 20, 2014, to February 23, 2016.

While opposing his bail plea, special vigilance junior public prosecutor Anandi Singh told court that under Raju an agreement was first signed with Sri Ram New Horizon on September 23, 2011, to train 3,445 youths. Seventy per cent of the agreed amount was to be given to the said agency after conducting the examination, Singh told the court. However, Rs 1.81 crore was given to it without giving training.

In the meanwhile, a new deal was inked with Indus Integrated Information Management (IIIM) on November 23, 2011, on the same terms. Accountant-general (Bihar) raised objections, saying the deal was inked without issuing any tenders and money given to IIIM without any concrete ground. Also, IIIM was to complete the work in a year’s time but not a single exam was conducted or certificate awarded till April 29, 2013.

It is learnt that the training programme was made online for which Raju constituted a project management unit and made retired IAS officer Ramashish Paswan project director. The court found Raju created PMU to provide advantage to two agencies in tandem with which funds could be withdrawn illegally.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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