PATNA: Bihar’s ruling JD(U) on Thursday placed under suspension for six years one of its MLAs who was booked for alleged irregularities in the appointment of staff at an agriculture university of which he was the vice-chancellor.
An FIR was lodged against MLA Mewalal Chaudhary, who represents Tarapur constituency in Munger district, after a probe found that he was involved in “severe irregularities” in the appointment of assistant professors and junior scientists at Bihar Agricultural University (BAU) at Sabaur in Bhagalpur district.
“The party (JD-U) has placed Mewalal Chaudhary under suspension for six years. He has been booked in a case of irregularities in appointments at BAU. JD (U) follows a zero-tolerance policy towards corruption,” said Sanjay Singh, JD (U) spokesperson.
Chaudhary retired as vice-chancellor of Bihar Agricultural University in 2015 and joined the JD (U). he was fielded as a candidate from Tarapur, which was previously represented by hiw wife Neeta Chaudhary. Following the FIR lodged against Choudhury, Bihar’s main Opposition BJP targeted Nitish Kumar and demanded the MLA’s arrest.
Allegations of massive corruption in the appointment of assistant professors and junior scientists at BAU surfaced in 2012. Bihar Governor Ramnath Kovind, who is the chancellor of the state’s universities. ordered a probe by a committee headed by retired Patna High Court judge Mehfooz Alam. With the probe panel finding the charges against Chaudhary true and recommending legal action against him, an FIR was lodged against him on Tuesday.
Chaudhary allegedly took bribes to facilitate the appointment of 161 assistant professors and junior scientists. Several suitable candidates were bypassed, including some who had PhD degrees and those who qualified NET.
Choudhuray said he was surprised by the FIR and vowed to contest it in the high court. “I am a victim of a political conspiracy,” said Chaudhary to journalists on Thursday.
Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi criticised Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for taking so long to act on the charges faced by Mewalal Chaudhary. “This case dragged on for so many years because the Chief Minister was protecting the main accused,” said Modi.