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Order to seize assets of mines official

A Patna court on Friday ordered the confiscation of disproportionate assets of a suspended mines official, Shyam Nandan Singh, under the provisions of the Bihar Special Courts Act, 2009.

The act allows the vigilance investigation bureau to confiscate unaccounted wealth of any public servant facing charges of corruption even before being convicted by the court concerned.

The special vigilance judge, Nand Kumar Srivastava, approved the vigilance bureau official’s petition seeking confiscation of ill-gotten wealth of Singh, who is also a former mines inspector of Gaya.

Singh, a resident of Kohra village in Arwal district, has been accused of amassing property worth Rs 59.42 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income during the check period from April 1982 to April 2011. The court, however, allowed the vigilance bureau to seize Singh’s unaccounted wealth to the tune of Rs 47.15 lakh only.

The mines official has been asked to hand over the property to the Patna district administration within a month.

According to the chargesheet filed in the vigilance court, the suspended mines department official owns properties at three places in Patna and a three-storied building in Gaya urban area among other assets.

“The charges of financial irregularities were found to be true against Singh when the former district magistrate of Gaya had ordered a probe in 2011,” a senior bureau official said, adding that the bureau was asked to probe the disproportionate assets charge only.

Singh is the ninth public servant against whom the court has so far ordered confiscation of disproportionate assets.

Patna High Court confirmed the cases of three public servants — former IAS officer S.S. Verma, former IPS officer Narain Mishra and former Patna district treasury assistant Girish Kumar. The cases of former Rajbhasha director D.N. Choudhary and former motor vehicle inspector Raghuvansh Kuer are still pending before the high court.

The state government has also decided to confiscate the property of corrupt public servants of the state who have purchased assets outside the state. “The government is formulating the strategy to confiscate the property of corrupt public servants outside the state,” a senior bureau official said.

The bureau has come to know about public servants possessing ill-gotten wealth in Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi.


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