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Flood scam: FIR against Asia hero Goswami

Source: PTI
May 28, 2005 19:42 IST
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The Bihar Vigilance Investigation Bureau on Saturday registered a first information report against former district magistrate of Patna Gautam Goswami and 25 others in the multi-crore flood-relief scam, official sources said.

Goswami, a 1992 batch Indian Administrative Service officer, was named by Time magazine as Young Asian Hero for his "exemplary work" in reaching help to flood victims in Bihar last year.

The others named include government officials and proprietors of two private firms, Santosh Kumar Jha and Sanjiv Kumar.

The FIR, lodged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedural Code, charged the 27 men for committing fraud, forgery and siphoning off government funds, the vigilance department sources said.

Five of the accused were taken into police custody by vigilance sleuths after conducting raids in Patna on Saturday, the sources added.

Goswami, the then DM and nodal officer for coordinating relief for 25 flood-hit districts, paid Rs 17.18 crore to the Bihar Small Scale Industries Corporation, the sole organisation in charge of supplying relief material.

Early this month, the BSSIC said it was paid Rs 13 lakh so far. The rest of the money, documents show, went to an employee of BSSIC, a certain B K Singh.

Singh appears in records as the man raising bills and getting payments from Goswami, BSSIC claimed that it had no employee by that name.

Following pressure from political parties and other senior officials over the alleged swindling of public money, Governor Buta Singh had ordered a vigilance probe into the scam last month.

The FIR was filed after a month-long probe.

Goswami, who is presently in Lucknow, joined the Sahara Group as vice president after he resigned from the state service.

The senior IAS officer received flak from the state government for joining a private firm even though they had not accepted his resignation. The state claimed that an officer is not allowed to join a private firm while in service, the sources added.

Also read:

Flood relief scam: Bihar governor not averse to CBI probe
Jha denies involvement in flood-relief scam
PMO seeks action in flood relief scam case
Ex-Patna DM in trouble, inquiry ordered

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