Ranchi: The controversial chief secretary of Jharkhand, Rajbala Verma, who has been served notice several times by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), while investigating the multi-crore fodder scam had not been removed from her position by Chief Minister Raghubar Das despite the opposition as well as senior BJP leaders demanding her removal. But with the Prime Minister Office (PMO) sending a letter to the Jharkhand Government seeking action against Rajabala Verma, CM Das will not have much option left, but to act.
Interestingly, the order to take action is not for the fodder scam controversy, but another issue in which Rajbala and another IAS, AP Singh had acquitted DM of Palamu, Puja Singhal Purwar in a coal block allotment case. Purwar, had allotted 200 acres coal block land worth billions of rupees to a private organization.
Rajbala and Singh had acquitted Purwar, who was found guilty in previous report filed by other investigating officials because of which several junior officers and assistant officers, served jail.
Against it, Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM) district secretary Dilip Mishra had written to chief vigilance commissioner and appraised the PMO about the same last year in September.
“It is a matter of 2009. Puja Singhal violating CNT/SPT and forest acts had transferred 200 acres land worth billions to a private party. I had got the related document through RTI and when initial inquiry was set, DC Palamu was found involved in it along with other officials. But later, AP Singh without visiting the site had acquitted Puja Singhal, and Rajbala Verma promoted her to secretary level. Thereafter, I had written to CVC and PMO,” Dilip Mishra told eNewsroom, over phone.
The 1983 batch IAS officer Rajbala is also facing another major controversy – related to the fodder scam, in which Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo and former chief minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and another former chief minister Jagannath Mishra are serving jail terms. In 1990-91, when Rajbala was DM of Chaibasa, several fodder related irregularities—withdrawals from the treasury using fake slips were done.
While investigating the case, CBI had sent 23 notices to Rajbala, to which she never replied. When RJD chief Lalu Prasad sentenced in fodder scam, the issue was raised not only by opposition parties but by BJP senior leader Saryu Roy too.
Before the beginning of assembly session, Rabhubar Das had show-caused the chief secretary, to which Rajbala had replied stating that she had no idea about the withdrawals made from the Chaibasa treasury.
During the Jharkhand assembly’s budget session, opposition parties had again demanded action against Rajbala, however, Jharkhand chief minister did not take any action.