Another corrupt Bihar official’s home to house school

By Imran Khan, IANS,

Patna : Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s threat that the ill-gotten property of corrupt officials in Bihar will be confiscated and turned into schools is about to be carried out once again.

Support TwoCircles

The two-storey house of suspended treasury clerk Girish Kumar, located in the posh Kadamkuan area here, was seized by administration officials Nov 19 on court orders.

The authorities have decided to open a girls’ residential school in the house of the official who is facing prosecution in a corruption case.

Officials said a girls’ residential school at Kesri Nagar here which is running in a rented house will be shifted to the confiscated house.

The Patna High Court early in November dismissed Girish Kumar’s appeal challenging a special court’s order to confiscate his property. The clerk has been accused of amassing assets worth Rs.51 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income.

A vigilance case was lodged against him in 2006 for amassing the assets between 1992 and 2004. The assets, as per a vigilance probe, include two plots and a house here.

Human Resources Department principal secretary Anjani Kumar Singh told IANS: “The government has initiated the move to open a girls’ residential school in the house.”
Two days after confiscating the house of Girish, the Bihar government also seized one of his plots Nov 21. “Girish Kumar’s plot in the Shivpuri area was seized by Patna administration officials on court orders,” an official said.

Nitish Kumar had declared a war against corruption after becoming chief minister for the second consecutive term in November 2010.

“Soon after assuming office following a historic poll verdict last year, Nitish Kumar announced that corruption will not be tolerated and warned that government will confiscate the properties of corrupt officials and turn these into primary schools,” Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) state president Vashisht Narain Singh said.

Nitish Kumar has repeatedly said at public meetings across the state in the last few months that the ill-gotten property of corrupt officials would be confiscated and turned into schools for poor children.

In September a primary school was opened in the confiscated three-storey house of former minor irrigation secretary Shiv Shankar Verma. He became the first officer to face such action under the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009.

Verma and eight of his relatives faced a case of amassing disproportionate assets amounting to Rs.1.44 crore.

Officials pointed out that last December, a special court ordered confiscation of property of former motor vehicles inspector Raghuvansh Kunwar.

The government directed that a school be opened in Kunwar’s house at Chaira village in Samastipur district. But later, Kunwar challenged it in the Patna High Court and the case is still pending.

He was allegedly caught while accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 Sep 24, 2008, when he was the motor vehicles inspector of Aurangabad district.

The government last year put in place the Special Courts Act that will enable it to confiscate the properties of corrupt officials.

Six special courts, two each in Patna, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur, were constituted by the government with the permission of the Patna High Court for speedy trial of cases involving more than Rs.25 crore.

(Imran Khan can be contacted at [email protected])