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Hazare's poster boy Nitish Kumar may face trouble over graft charges

Tuesday April 12, 2011 07:31:44 PM, IANS

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Patna: A petition filed in the Patna High Court for re-hearing a public suit on alleged financial irregularities of Rs.11,412 crore, with fingers pointed at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and 46 others, has got the ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U) worried.

The petition was filed Monday, nearly nine months after the state high court stayed its previous order for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged financial irregularities involving Rs.11,412.54 crore in the state.

A senior ruling JD-U leader told IANS on condition of anonymity that the petition can damage Nitish Kumar's image if the court orders a CBI probe like it did last year. "It is a matter of concern for us," he said.

Main opposition Rashtriya Janata Dal state president Ram Chandra Purve said the petition for re-hearing the case was a vindication of the RJD stand that corruption was rampant in the Nitish Kumar government.

Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist leader Dhirender Jha said the party had demanded a CBI probe into the case. "Petition for rehearing has exposed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's double talk on corruption. Now the court has to hear and pass an order soon," Jha said.

Petitioner Arvind Kumar Sharma sought re-hearing of the case as per the rule that requires an order to be passed within six months after the stay. He also stated the latest Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report laid in the state assembly pointed out financial irregularities.

In July 2010, Sharma in his public interest suit pointed out financial irregularities in the development funds during 2002-2008 in Bihar. A division bench then ordered the CBI probe into the alleged irregular withdrawals of funds from the state treasury for various welfare and development schemes which were made without tendering required bills to the Accountant General of Bihar.

A court official then said the bench observed that it was necessary to hand over the probe to CBI as the accused in the case are the chief minister, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and 45 others, including ministers and top officials.

Last year's AG report formed the basis for this complaint. The report mentioned financial irregularities in various funds meant for development.

The report mentioned that the detailed bills to the tune of Rs.1,100 crore were not available and the state government could not provide them to the AG for calculation and assessment.

The court later stayed the CBI probe.




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