| A police personnel outside the house of Ishwar Dayal Prasad during the raid in Patna on Wednesday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
In 24 years, his assets have grown around 15,000 times although the statistical assistant of 1990 is now just a block development officer.
Ishwar Dayal Prasad, the millionaire BDO of Mohiuddin Nagar block in Samastipur district, around 90km northeast of Patna, has lived life just king size. Prasad’s office and residential premises were searched today simultaneously by the economic offences unit (EOU) in Patna and Samastipur districts.
In 1990, his salary was Rs 700 and at present he has assets worth over Rs 90 lakh, which, however, excludes the price of land purchased in Rajasthan’s Pokharan.
During the eight-hour search of his Nala Road house in the city, the police team stumbled upon documents related to purchase of several plots in Bihar and Rajasthan. Prasad, according to the EOU sources, owns a three-storied building in Langar Toli in Patna.
Prasad had bought around 22.22 decimals of land in Parsa Bazaar, Pahari Pad, Kishunpur Lodipur and Phulwarisharif on the outskirts of the city. The plots were purchased for just Rs 44 lakh. Recently, he had given Rs 14.31 lakh as advance for buying a plot of around 3,500sqft at a prime location in the Patna City area.
The documents seized during the raid suggested that Prasad had bought 700sqft of land at Pokharan in Rajasthan for himself.
The land, for which the deal was finalised, was to be bought in the name of his wife. “The value of the land has been shown less than the market price even at the time of ownership transfer,” a senior investigating officer said.
The EOU officials also seized Rs 2.25 lakh in cash, gold jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh and investments worth over Rs 10 lakh in different insurance policies.
The sources revealed that Prasad was deputed as BDO in 2009. “Most of the assets, particularly immovable ones, have been purchased after his appointment as the BDO,” the investigating officer said.
According to a rough estimate, Prasad would not have savings of more than Rs 20 lakh from the monthly salary he was paid by the government since the date of his appointment.
However, the documents seized from his residence showed that he owned immovable property worth Rs 73.39 lakh and movable property worth Rs 17.14 lakh.
Inspector-general (EOU) Praveen Vashishtha said a disproportionate assets case was lodged against Prasad under Section 13(2) read with Section 3(1)(e) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988. “The searches were conducted after obtaining prior order from the court,” he said.