Patna, July 6: The special vigilance unit’s raids on the residence of senior IAS officer and secretary of Bihar minor irrigation department S.S. Verma today yielded Rs 17 lakh besides investment papers and real estate worth crores.
“The raids were carried out after cases of disproportionate assets were lodged against Verma by the unit on July 2. Verma is charged of amassing property worth Rs 67.8 lakh, disproportionate to his known income,” the inspector-general of the unit, A.K. Upadhyay, said. The unit is known as Corruption Linked Efforts for Affirmative Action (CLEAN) in police jargon. The group were constituted by the Nitish Kumar government this year to check corruption at high level.
The raids on Verma’s establishments was the second operation that CLEAN carried out, the first being on the residence of IPS officer and director-general (homeguards) Narayan Mishra.
The CLEAN sleuths launched simultaneous raids on Verma’s two houses in Patna, his ancestral house at Lucknow and a house in Ranchi at 7.30am. Verma’s wife lost consciousness after seeing the sleuths enter her Rukunpura home in Patna. Verma has another home in Daldali area of Patna that was raided.
“The exact amount seized in the raids may be beyond Rs 17 lakh, after the money is finally counted at the end of the raids,” sources in the team revealed. The sleuths were yet to calculate the worth of the investment papers seized.
CLEAN has seized the officer’s bank lockers in Patna and Lucknow. “The raids are still in progress. It is too early to estimate how long they will take,” said Upadhyaya, who was leading the party in Patna.
A 1981 batch IAS cadre, Verma is the first secretary-level officer in the state who is facing the raids in connection with corruption cases against him while still in office. Verma has gone into hiding.
However, the officer is already an accused in Ranchi’s land scam case. The vigilance bureau of erstwhile united Bihar had lodged a case against him in 2000 when he was the deputy commissioner of Ranchi. The case is related to “misappropriation” of land belonging to tribals.