To track ill-gotten assets, Bihar ready to cross borders

February 16th, 2012 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Patna, Feb 16 (IANS) Corrupt Bihar officials will no longer be able to retain ill-gotten wealth and properties in other states. The vigilance department is preparing to take its drive to confiscate illegal assets beyond the state’s borders.

“The government has been formulating a strategy to confiscate corrupt officials’ property outside the state and how to use them,” said an official of the state vigilance department.

The Bihar government will send teams to confiscate the property of corrupt officials in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal and New Delhi.

“We have information that corrupt officials facing the disproportionate assets case own flats and plots in these places outside Bihar. The vigilance will initiate the process of confiscating these soon,” the official told IANS, not wishing to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue involved.

The state government has so far initiated the process of property confiscation against 45 officials under the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009.

The government has confiscated the houses of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Shiv Shankar Verma and treasury clerk Girish Kumar in Patna and converted them into schools for poor children.

According to a vigilance official, Verma owned two plots in Uttar Pradesh. Both his plots will be confiscated.

Early this month, a special vigilance court in Bihar ordered the confiscation of the assets of former state police chief Narayan Mishra and his wife on corruption charges.

The court has asked a magistrate to make the seizures within 30 days. Mishra has been accused of having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Mishra owns a flat in Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh and two plots in Hazaribagh in Jharkhand.

Proceedings to confiscate the illegal properties of some more officials, including former drug controller Y.K. Jaiswal, revenue officer Yogendra Prasad Singh, engineer Srikant Prasad and former Rajbhasha Parishad director B.N. Chowdhary have also been initiated.

Officials said Jaiswal owned illegal property at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The state vigilance department has also moved a Patna civil court for direction to confiscate Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator Sonelal Hembrum’s allegedly illegal assets. The BJP is a coalition partner in the ruling coalition headed by Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal-United.

Nitish Kumar gave his nod for prosecution of 11 officials of various departments last year.

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

(Imran Khan can be contacted at imran.k@ians.in)

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