Bihar opposition demands discussion on financial irregularities

March 17th, 2012 - 5:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar Patna, March 17 (IANS) A day after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Bihar government and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in connection with alleged financial irregularities, opposition leaders have demanded that the issue be discussed in the ongoing budget session of the state assembly.

Leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly Abdul Bari Siddiqui Saturday demanded that in view of the apex court notice the Nitish Kumar-led government discuss the alleged financial irregularities to the tune of Rs.67,000 crore in advance contingency bills and detailed contingency bills (AC-DC bills).

“It is high time the issue of financial irregularities of thousands of crores of rupees should be discussed in the state assembly,” said Siddiqui, state president of the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Siddiqui said the government will again try to downplay the issue despite the apex court notice and not allow discussion on the issue in the assembly.

According to Siddiqui, the CAG report had exposed the Bihar government’s failure to submit proper accounts for a whopping Rs.25,000 crore - used for development works in the state in the last nine years.

According to the petitioner, out of the total withdrawal of Rs.11,924.44 crore on advance contingency bills, only Rs.511.90 crores were submitted to the Accountant-General of the state while no DC bills were submitted in the year 2008-09.

The petitioner also alleged that the state government has not submitted the detailed expenditure on centrally sponsored schemes since 2002.

Lok Janshakti Party state president Pasupati Kumar Paras said the apex court notice to the Bihar government on financial irregularities has strengthened their demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into it.

“Now the issue should be brought before the assembly for a discussion,” said Paras, who is younger brother of LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan.

Congress leader Premchand Mishra said that in the wake of the apex court notice, the issue must be discussed in the state assembly.

“It is a serious issue, the state assembly will have to discuss it,” Mishra said.

The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the Bihar government and CAG seeking their reply in connection with the alleged financial irregularities after hearing a PIL filed by Arvind Sharma.

The apex court has directed the Bihar government and the CAG to file their reply within four weeks.

In July 2010, Sharma in his PIL pointed out financial irregularities in the utilisation of development funds during 2002-2008 in Bihar.

A division bench then ordered the CBI probe into the alleged irregular withdrawals of funds from the state treasury for various welfare and development schemes, which were made without tendering required bills to the Accountant General of Bihar.

A court official then said the bench observed that it was necessary to hand over the probe to CBI as the accused involve the chief minister, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and 45 others, including ministers and top officials.

But the court stayed the CBI probe.

Last year again, Sharma filed the petition, nearly nine months after the state high court stayed its previous order for a CBI probe into the alleged financial irregularities.

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