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The ACB sleuths during the raid on the house of Rajesh and the pen made of gold. Image Credit: Supplied

Patna: Anti-corruption Bureau sleuths in Bihar have registered a disproportionate assets (DA) case against a corrupt government official who used to write with a pen made of gold.

The official Rajesh Kumar Gupta now posted as district land acquisition officer in Rohtas district has also been found owning several housing flats and around 40 land plots worth Rs500 million, according to sleuths who raided his properties located in various states.

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Rajesh Kumar Gupta Image Credit: Supplied

Acting on a tip-off about his alleged involvement in corrupt deals, the sleuths raided his properties located various cities in Bihar and Jharkhand during the weekend and recovered Rs2.17 million in cash, gold jewellery worth Rs6.2 million, five gold bars, 25 bank passbooks, six ATM cards, two lockers and several land deeds highlighting his lust for real estate properties.

What, however, surprised the sleuths the most was the recovery of a pen made of gold. The value of this pen is estimated to be Rs46,000. “The recovery obviously means he may have been using this special pen to write something. It’s a matter of investigation now where this was used,” said a state vigilance bureau official.

The seized documents reveal that the accused officer owns six housing flats in various localities of Patna and 39 land plots in various cities of Bihar and Jharkhand. He not only bought land in his name but also in the name of his wife, son, mother and also brother, according to the vigilance officials.

Officials informed the accused officer joined the government service in January 1996 and his total income from salary comes to around 9 million but he has been found owning huge movable and immovable properties worth Rs500 million, several times more than his known sources of income.

Fourth officer in 14 days

He is the fourth officer who was found to be involved in large-scale scandals in the past one fortnight raising a big question mark over the government’s war on corruption. A similar raid conducted at various premises of Mritunjay Kumar, officer on special duty of Bihar mines and geology minister Janak Ram, on Friday, had unearthed assets worth more than Rs37 million.

The raids on the premises of the officer in three cities yielded 30 gold biscuits with approximate value of Rs2.67 million, Rs3.3 million in cash, jewelries worth around Rs4.5 million and land plots worth millions.

On November 18, a raid conducted at the residence of Magadh University vice-chancellor Dr Rajendra Prasad led to the recovery of Rs9 million in cash, foreign currencies worth Rs750,000 and jewellery worth over Rs1.5 million. The files recovered during the raid by the vigilance sleuths also revealed that only 45 security guards were working in the universities while salaries were being paid to 86 guards on paper. “Also the remunerations being paid to these guards were much less than the amount withdrawn for their salaries,” vigilance officials have said.

Similarly, on November 25, a government school teacher was found having concealed Rs10 million in cash and two kilograms of gold in the bank locker of the Patna branch of the State Bank of India. The accused teacher Neeraj Kumar is currently posted in a government high school located in Nalanda district.

Corruption continues to flourish in the state despite the fact that the Bihar government has initiated some drastic measures to tame graft which include confiscating the property and bungalows of the officials and turning them into schools and orphanages. So far, the bungalows of at least four top government officials have been converted into schools and orphanages.

These officials include — Shiv Shankar Verma, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official who served as secretary to the minor irrigation department, Narayan Mishra, former Indian Police Service (IPA) officer who served as Director General of Police, Bihar, motor vehicle inspector Raghuvansh Kunvar and Girish Kumar, assistant in the office of Patna District Magistrate.