Govt in graft quicksand

Patna, Jan. 22: The allegations of corruption against senior government officers have cast a shadow on the credibility of the Nitish Kumar regime, which had promised to make a major assault on graft.

The government's approach in handling corruption is now being questioned following the suspension of IPS officer Anusuiya Ransingh Sahu, on charges that she was safeguarding the interests of the mining mafia, and the recall of the DIG Saran, Alok Kumar, to the police headquarters following allegations that he was demanding extortion money.

Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi admitted that he had received a few complaints against Alok Kumar when he was senior SP of Patna. "Then why was he given a key posting as DIG Saran?" wondered a retired IAS officer.

Nitish had formed the Special Vigilance Unit (SUV) in 2006 to trap corrupt officials in high places. Today, the SUV is defunct after lodging cases against half-a-dozen officials, among them ex-DGP Narayan Mishra, IAS officer S.S. Verma and former drug controller Y.K. Jaiswal.

Around six months ago, minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary, replying in the Assembly to a question asked by BJP member Achudanand, had stated that 17 IAS officers were facing charges of irregularities. "A vigilance probe is going on against these IAS officers because prima facie there are charges of corruption against them. Yet most of them continue to serve in key posts," Achudanand told The Telegraph today.

A Calcutta-based firm, Mini Safety Products, recently wrote a letter to the Bihar governor, complaining that an engineer was demanding a bribe of Rs 4.5 lakh for release of payment to the company for installing road studs on the Kankerbagh�Chiraiyatand bridge around three-and-a-half years ago. "The engineer was flaunting his relationship with a senior IAS officer," said the petition.

The chairman of the Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam ' the organisation that gave the firm the work ' said there was a procedural lapse. "The firm should have got its payment. But the charges against the official is baseless," said the chairman, IAS officer Prataya Amrit.

The Opposition is itching for a fight. "It just strengthens our charges that corruption is rampant, right from the block level to the secretariat. I have levelled charges of corruption against officials ' who have been charge-sheeted or are being charge-sheeted ' in the Assembly. The government then gave them a certificate of honesty. It was either lying then or is lying now," said Opposition leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

...if they are to return to winning ways

...if they are to return to winning ways

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »