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Vigilance detects Rs 14.68 cr fraud in solar light purchase

According to reports, in his final inquiry report to the vigilance SP, the vigilance DSP of Muzaffarpur, Vijay Pratap Singh, has unearthed embezzlement of Rs 14.68 crore in the purchase of solar light sets between 2006 and 2010 in the district.

The vigilance DSP has found that solar light sets were purchased at exorbitant rates. The state government had fixed the price at Rs 28,100 per set but they were purchased at prices ranging from Rs 49,000 to Rs 72,000. Through his letter no 869 dated 1.8.13, the enquiring officer has held that the then DM Anand Kishore, half-a-dozen BDOs of Aurai, Gaighat, Bochaha, Bandra, Kurhani and Mushahari and 225 mukhiyas and a similar number of panchayat secretaries were held responsible for the fraud.

The probe officer has found that the then DM had issued a bank cheque for Rs 99,600 to a solar light shop, Shree Ram Electric, for supplying two solar light sets on 1.8.2008 which was in excess than the price fixed by the government. It has also been found that nearly 18 shops have been found to be fictitious ones as either they are non-existent or have refused that they supplied the sets.

These solar light sets were installed in different panchayats of the district under the 12th plan period. Local lawyer Sudheer Kumar Ojha had filed a complaint petition in the local vigilance court on April 20, 2010 alleging huge bungling in the purchase, and his case no. was 5110. The court had directed the vigilance SP to get the matter probed, and the SP had directed the DSP to enquire about it.

The vigilance DSP sent an interim report to the SP on February 1, 2013, as the probe could not be completed by that time because of non-availability of documents. Once the related papers were made available, he sent the final report to the SP. The next date of the case is scheduled on August 7.

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