Trial of scam accused Bihar official to continue

December 10th, 2008 - 3:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, Dec 10 (IANS) The trial of bureaucrat Gautam Goswami, a key accused in the Rs.170 million Bihar flood relief scam, will continue though his suspension was revoked by the Bihar government on health grounds, an official said Wednesday.An official in the state vigilance bureau here said the trial will continue though the Indian Administrative Service officer’s suspension was revoked Monday.

Former Patna district magistrate Goswami, who has been suffering from cancer, is currently on bail.

“The trial will go ahead as usual as the police report has already provided to all accused including Goswami,” the official said.

Goswami was named Time magazine’s Asian hero in 2005 for exemplary work in flood relief.

He is an accused in the case relating to the alleged swindling of funds meant for providing relief to flood-hit people of north Bihar in 2004. An inquiry into the matter by the vigilance bureau was ordered when president’s rule was in force in the state in 2005.

A first information report (FIR) was filed against Goswami and 27 others in the case May 28, 2005. Later, all the accused and scam kingpin Santosh Jha, a relief material supplier, surrendered and were sent to jail.

After spending over a year in jail, Goswami was granted bail by the Patna High Court in 2006.

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