Jharkhand HC moved against CM over Rs.26 crore consultancy

Ranchi, April 28 (IANS) A petition was filed on Thursday in the Jharkhand High Court for an independent probe into the role of Chief Minister Raghubar Das in awarding a drainage and sewerage consultancy worth Rs.26 crore to a private firm in violation of the norms.

Alok Dubey, general secretary of the Jharkhand unit of the Congress, filed the public interest litigation against the chief minister.

“Raghubar Das as urban development minister in 2005-2006 awarded the drainage and sewerage consultancy worth Rs.26 crore to a private company by making changes in the terms and conditions of the tender,” Dubey told IANS.

“The issue was referred to a state assembly committee and later to the vigilance department. Both the assembly committee and the vigilance technical committee recommended an independent probe in the issue. The probe has been deliberately delayed,” he said.

Rajeev Kumar, the advocate through whom the PIL was filed, said: “The assembly committee report in 2007-2008 had questioned the role of the then urban development minister and now chief minister.”

“The assembly committee had asked for an independent probe into the matter. Nothing was done. We filed a PIL in 2010 in the high court and the court asked the PIL petitioner to submit the documents to the vigilance for probe,” the advocate said.

“The technical committee of the vigilance also raised questions over the role of the then urban development minister and sought permission from the vigilance commissioners to further probe the case in 2010,” he said.

The vigilance commissioners, however, kept the request pending, he alleged.

According to the lawyer, when the issue was bought to the notice of the government in 2012-2013, the matter was handed over to the urban development department, which “found nothing wrong in the issue”.

“The assembly committee probed the matter for one year and recommended an independent probe. The technical committee of the vigilance department probed the matter for three months and sought further probe and approval was not given by the vigilance commissioners.”

Rajeev Kumar alleged, “The urban development department probed the matter in five days and gave clean chit to all people.”

He said they were demanding an independent probe into the whole matter, as well as a probe into the role of the vigilance commissioner.

“One of the two vigilance commissioners later became the chief secretary and the other became a BJP member and was elected to the assembly,” he said.

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