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Man turns 100 awaiting justice as trial goes on for 40 years

Haridwar Pandey was accused of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income while he was serving as an engineer

Gulf News

Patna: A man has turned 100 awaiting justice as the trial in the case has been continuing for the past 40 years. The man was accused of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income while he was serving as an engineer in the public works department in the 1970s but the case is yet to reach its conclusion although the man has now stopped even appearing in the court citing his old age.

Haridwar Pandey who retired as Executive Engineer from the department concerned had been charged with earning huge wealth while in office. Subsequently, the vigilance department sleuths registered a disproportionate assets case against the official in the early 70s but the judgement is still to be delivered in the case although the accused is counting his last days.

Reports said initially the case remained pending in the court of chief judicial magistrate from 1978 to 1983. The trial in the case finally began in a special vigilance court, Patna in October 1983, but the investigating police failed to gather proof against him.

Subsequently, the court pulled up the vigilance department and directed for fresh investigation but since then the trial in the case remained unending, leaving the accused shocked and shattered. Such is his physical condition that the man has now stopped attending court on the date of appearance. The next hearing is scheduled for later this month.

“He is very much worried and wants the court to deliver judgement before he leaves for final journey. The taint of corruption charges has kept him restless,” a family member of Pandey said. Authorities said thousands of cases relating to corruption, defalcation and bribery have been pending in the court for years. In Bihar, some 2,100 such cases are pending, reports said.

A report of the state government says the police department is the most corrupt among all the 42 government departments of Bihar. The shocking revelation was made during the Bihar Police Week function held in February last year.

As many as three officials of the rank of Director General in the police departments questioned the functioning of the police at the function.

“Although there are 42 departments of the state government, the maximum number of corruption cases is reported against the police department,” director general of vigilance department Ravindra Kumar told the function.

According to him, a total of around 125 public servants were arrested by the sleuths of the vigilance departments for taking bribe in 2016. “Of the total arrested, 25 per cent are from the police department,” Kumar had said. Last year, 90 government officials were arrested by the vigilance department on graft charges. Of them 22 were from the police force.

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