PATNA: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday raided six premises linked to the district magistrate of Bihar’s Aurangabad district, Kanwal Tanuj, at five locations as part of investigations into charges of corruption in the payment of Rs 2.07 crore for the land acquired for a power plant.
The office and residence of Tanuj in Aurangabad and premises linked to him in Kanpur, Lucknow and Noida in Uttar Pradesh were raided by teams of CBI officials in the simultaneous operation. A 12-member team headed by CBI SP Rajesh Ranjan grilled him at his official residence and seized several files from there and his office, said sources. The team took him along to Patna in the evening.
An FIR was registered against the 2010-batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre on Thursday under Sections 120 (B), 420, 467, 468 and 471 of IPC for alleged irregularities in the payment of Rs 2.70 crore to a person as the price of seven acres of land that did not belong to him. Unidentified officers of the power generation firm Bharatiya Rail Bijlee Company Ltd (BRBCL) and the local administration and other private persons were also made accused in the FIR.
The matter pertains to acquisition of land for a power plant at Nabinagar in Bihar’s southern Aurangabad district by BRBCL, a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Indian Railways.
“While the seven acres of land at Nabinagar was shown as government land in 2015 and acquired, the circle officer and the DM together declared it as owned by Gopal Prasad Singh in 2017. Singh was then shown to have been paid Rs 2.07 crore as the cost of the land by BRBCL even though the local people said he did not own it,” said an official familiar with the case.
In April 2017, when officials of BRBCL and the district administration had visited site for possession of the land, Singh was reportedly unable to identify his land. But a cheque of Rs 2.07 crore in the name of Singh was issued by BRBCL in May 2017 and the amount was withdrawn.
“There was a conspiracy hatched by C Shiv Kumar, BRBCL chief executive officer, Tanuj, Singh and some other persons to perpetrate the fraud,” said an official.