The special vigilance unit (SVU) conducted raids on a Bihar government engineer on Thursday for allegedly accumulating a huge amount of unaccounted wealth worth at least Rs 7 crore through wrongful means in just nine years of service.
The allegedly illicit wealth could substantially increase as the raids were still going on till the time of filing the report. The sleuths revealed that they “found evidence of the accused being a ‘characterless’ person and also indulging in consumption of narcotic substances.”
Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, who was raided, is an employee of the South Bihar Power Distribution Company Limited (SBPDCL) and is at present posted as an executive engineer at the electricity supply division in Banka district. He joined the government service in 2014.
The raids were conducted at his office and official residence in Banka, a house and a godown at Bhagalpur and residences at Purnea and Patna following an FIR registered by the SVU under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The residence at Bhagalpur is a new three-storeyed building, while the flats in Patna and Purnea have lavish interiors. Documents pertaining to the purchase of nine land plots in different parts of the state, Rs 40 lakh unaccounted cash, and jewellery worth several lakhs of rupees have been seized so far.
“Gupta, his wife and a minor daughter also have around 10 bank accounts, two lockers, fixed deposits worth Rs 30 lakh and life insurance policies have also been found. They are being assessed and accessed. There is a strong possibility of movable and immovable assets being detected in places outside Bihar,” a senior SVU officer told The Telegraph.
“The raided engineer had earned around Rs 66 lakh as salary since joining government service. His wife joined a bank as a group ‘c’ staff a few years ago. The role of his father-in-law, who is a senior section engineer in the Indian Railways, is also suspicious. We are looking into it as well,” the SVU officer added.
A day after the Centre asserted that the census would begin soon after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said the enumeration exercise should commence “immediately”, reports PTI.
The JDU supreme leader also said the census should have been completed in 2021, claiming that the “decadal census has been delayed in the country for the first time”.
“Why wait for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls…why not now? The decadal census should begin immediately. The Centre should start the enumeration exercise immediately,” Nitish told reporters here when asked about Union home minister Amit Shah’s announcement on the census.