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Public interest petition filed in multi-crore excise scam

Patna, Feb 16 (Calcutta Tube) A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed in the Patna High Court seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged multi-crore excise scam in Bihar.

Petitioner Arvind Kumar, an advocate, said Tuesday that he filed a PIL seeking a probe by the CBI into the alleged multi-crore excise scam in the state because the state government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was ‘trying to suppress the issue’.

Last week Bihar Excise Minister Jamshed Ashraf created a storm when he spoke of a Rs.500 crore scam in the excise department.

Ashraf stunned everyone here when he accused senior bureaucrats in the chief minister’s secretariat of being involved in the scam. He also threatened to reveal more in the coming days.

Ashraf said that he wrote letters to Nitish Kumar and Chief Secretary Anup Mukherjee seeking a probe by the state vigilance commission or accountant general. He said he had written to the chief minister over a month ago. ‘I am surprised that no probe has been ordered. Each bit of information I wrote can be proved,’ he said.

Ashraf said that he had objected to extension of contracts for alcohol sales to ‘outside parties’, while ignoring locals.

‘I can say that despite several objections, I was overruled by the Principal Secretary (Excise) Amir Subhani, and the chief secretary and the chief minister’s assent was taken. If I as a minister do not count at all, what can I say? I am definitely frustrated and humiliated because the chief minister did not bother to read the file or pursue the objections,’ Ashraf said.

The minister said that in his second letter to the chief minister he demanded that Excise Commissioner N. Vijaylakshmi be removed and the joint commissioner be suspended.

According to Ashraf, he wrote to the chief secretary Sep 16 last and personally handed over the letter to Nitish Kumar during the Jan 14 cabinet meeting.

Nitish Kumar brushed aside the allegation made by Ashraf by stating that nobody could influence or purchase him.

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