Investment papers worth Rs.72 lakh seized from Jharkhand bureaucrat

September 1st, 2009 - 4:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Sep 1 (IANS) Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sleuths, who raided the houses of a senior civil servant in Jharkhand for his alleged involvement in a Rs.1.3 billion scam in the state’s health department, have seized investment documents worth at least Rs.72 lakh (Rs.7.2 million) from his possession.
These include Rs.47 lakh worth of fixed deposit documents, investment documents worth over Rs.25 lakh and documents of flats in New Delhi and Udaipur, informed sources said.

The CBI had Monday conducted searches at 13 places in Ranchi, Hazaribagh and Daltanganj, informed sources said. Pradeep Kumar’s houses in Ranchi as well as Daltanganj came under the scanner of the investigating agency.

Pradeep Kumar, who was Jharkhand health secretary till June, is presently on long leave.

He has been named in the case for misusing his official position and “fraudulently and dishonestly” purchasing medicines, medical equipment and appliances for hospitals from 19 suppliers worth over Rs.130 crore (Rs.1.3 billion), a government statement said Monday.

He is a 1991 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Jharkhand cadre, and at present secretary, institutional finance.

Besides Pradeep Kumar, searches were conducted at his brother Rajendra Kumar’s house in New Delhi, the residences of Vijay Shankar Narayan Singh (Hazaribagh), who is Jharkhand’s Reproductive Child Health Officer, contractor and supplier Shyamal Chakravarty, builder Dharmendra Kumar and Ranchi-based chartered accountant Naresh Kejriwal, among others.

The CBI is said to have seized cash worth Rs.36 lakh, investments worth over Rs.1 crore and details of 15 bank accounts from the house of Dharmendra Kumar, who is believed to be closely associated with Pradeep Kumar, the sources said.

They added that cash worth over Rs.40 lakh and documents related to investments and medicines supplied to the health department have been seized from Shyamal Chakravarty’s house. CBI officials are now evaluating the assets related to flats and land owned by these people.

The CBI has lodged a First Information Report (FIR) against Pradeep Kumar, Vijay Shankar Narayan Singh and others under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 for irregularities in purchases under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) during 2008 and 2009 when Pradeep Kumar was health secretary.

Vijay Shankar Narain Singh also faces a probe for “criminal conspiracy” with Kumar and three other people for making the purchases “without assessing the actual requirement and without observing the codal formalities”, the government statement said.

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