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Govt engineer draws pay from 3 posts over 3 decades

PATNA: An assistant engineer of Bihar government worked simultaneously in three different posts and drew salaries from the respective departments for more than three decades. In each post, he also got time-bound promotions.

However, Suresh Ram, a resident of Babhaul village in Patna district, ran out of luck recently, thanks to the comprehensive financial management system (CFMS). With the new financial tool registering details like Aadhaar, date of birth and PAN of all Bihar government employees, his fraud came to light.

Based on a complaint by Suresh’s colleague Madhusudan Kumar Karn, an executive engineer in the building construction department, an FIR was lodged against the former at Kishanganj police station last week.

Suresh, who was due to retire in a couple of years, is now on the run. Kishanganj SP Kumar Ashish said on Friday that a four-member team headed by sub-divisional police officer Akhilesh Singh has been set up to arrest him.

According to the FIR, a copy of which is with TOI, Suresh was first appointed as junior engineer in the state road construction department on February 20, 1988 in Patna. Next year, he was offered a job in the water resources department where he assumed charge in the same city on July 28, 1989. Suresh was offered another job under the water resources department, the same year, and was posted at Bhim Nagar East Embankment in Supaul district.

According to the complainant, Suresh was promoted to assistant engineer in the road construction department on April 10, 2018, and in the water resources department on June 17, 2005.

“Suresh would have retired from the three posts — one after another — had the CFMS not been introduced for the payment of salaries to state government employees,” a senior official of the road construction department said, requesting anonymity.

“On July 22, the deputy secretary asked Suresh to bring all his papers to the irrigation department after some discrepancies were detected. However, he didn’t turn up. On August 9, the secretary ordered an FIR in the case,” the complainant said.

The Kishanganj SP said Suresh has been booked under IPC sections 419 (punishment for cheating by personation, 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery of valuable property), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document), and 120(B) (punishment of criminal conspiracy. The investigating officer in the case, Narayan Singh, has moved the local court to obtain an arrest warrant against him. “If Suresh is not arrested, we will seek his property attachment order from the court,” the SP told TOI over the phone.

A senior IAS officer posted with the general administration department pointed out that the assistant engineer had managed to discharge his duty at three different places and in different departments simultaneously for so long. “The connivance of other public servants can’t be ruled out,” the officer, who did not wish to be named, said.




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