Bihar moves another step to weed out corruption

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

PATNA - Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s initiatives to check corruption are showing results.

Nearly 80 percent of 400,000 government officials, including Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) officers in Bihar, have submitted their assets details to the state government as per an official directive.

The remaining 20 percent officials are likely to submit their assets details in a day or two, an official said Tuesday.

Nitish Kumar had declared a war against corruption after becoming chief minister for the second consecutive term in November last year.

“It is a part of the initial move of Nitish Kumar to weed out corruption,” an official in Chief Minister’s Office said.

Deepak Kumar, principal secretary of general administration department, told IANS that majority of government officials from the block level office to district headquarters and state secretariat had submitted their assets details till Monday night.

“The state government will make all the government officials’ assets public in the next two to three days and post it on the government official site,” Kumar said.

“Fearing that their salaries could be withheld if they don’t declare their assets, the government officials submitted their assets details Feb 28, the last day of the deadline,” an official said.

The state government in its circular early this year warned officials that their salaries would be withheld if they failed to furnish the assets details within the stipulated time frame.

Setting an example, the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues declared their assets Dec 31. The details are posted on the state government’s official website.

Soon after assuming office following a historic poll verdict last year, Nitish Kumar announced that corruption will not be tolerated in the state. Bihar is also working to confiscate the properties of corrupt officials and turn these into primary schools.

Last December, a special court ordered confiscation of property of former motor vehicles inspector Raghuvansh Kunwar. The government has directed that a school be opened in Kunwar’s house at Chaira village in Samastipur district.

Kunwar was allegedly caught while accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 Sep 24, 2008 when he was the motor vehicles inspector of Aurangabad district.

The government last year put in place the Special Courts Act that will enable it to confiscate the properties of corrupt officials.

Six special courts, two each in Patna, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur, were constituted by the government with the permission of the Patna High Court for speedy trial of cases involving a total sum of over Rs.25 crore.

Filed under: Politics

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