Ranchi, Aug. 18: A government engineer was arrested in Ramgarh today for carrying unaccounted cash of over Rs 23 lakh, believed to be hoarded through corrupt means.
Prem Nath Sah — an executive engineer with the state road construction department but on deputation in building construction — was caught near the Ramgarh thana chowk around noon. On interrogation, he could not convince police or income tax officials about the source of the money.
Ramgarh SP Anish Gupta said they had been tipped off about “someone carrying a huge sum of ill-gotten money near the chowk”. Accordingly, a special checking drive was launched. Around noon, Sah’s car was intercepted by police while on its way to Patna.
“Since he (Sah) has not been able to tell us from where he got all that money, we suspect they are bribe amounts. Interrogation is on,” SP Gupta said.
Building construction principal secretary Rajbala Verma could not be contacted for comments. Other officials of the department remained tight-lipped, saying they were “not authorised to speak on such a sensitive issue”.
Sources, however, said that Sah belonged to road construction department and was recently deputed to building construction. He hails from Patna and was probably on his way home with the money.
Incidentally, Verma is the principal secretary of both departments. While road construction is directly headed by chief minister Hemant Soren, the building construction portfolio is under his party heavyweight Haji Hussain Ansari.
“A probe will reveal whether he (Sah) bagged the money while working in the road department or during his new engagement in building construction. No major work has been undertaken by building construction in the past few months. Hence, it is rather intriguing how he hoarded the cash,” said a senior official.