Patna: Bihar Vigilance officials have arrested 72 public servants on charges of allegedly taking bribe at various places this year in its continuing drive to rein in corruption.
   
Properties of a senior IAS official and a treasury assistant, amassed allegedly through corrupt means, have also been confiscated under Bihar Special Court Act 2009 this year.
   
Vigilance ADG P K Thakur said that the wing constituted several raiding squads in 2011 which caught 72 public servants red handed while accepting bribes at several places in Bihar.
   
Of those arrested, 12 were officials from state revenue and land reform department, eight each from health and home (police) department, six each from HRD and general administration departments followed by four each from panchayati raj and urban development departments, besides three from Bihar State Electricity Board, he said.
   
Thakur said altogether 17 officials, arrested in connection with 11 bribery cases in 2011, have been convicted and undergoing rigorous imprisonment and slapped fine by vigilance courts in Bihar this year.
   
The bureau had arrested 68 public servants in 2010 with 29 officials involved in train bribery been convicted in that year, he said.
   
In an unique exercise against corruption, the state government confiscated the palatial house of suspended IAS officer S S Verma and opened a much needed school there on the outskirts of state capital here, Thakur said.
   
The government also confiscated the house of Girish Kumar, the treasury assistant on December 20 last in Kadamkuan locality and later decided to make the premises available for opening a residential school by state backward and extremely backward class welfare department, Thakur said.
   
The bureau had registered a case against Girish Kumar in 2006 accusing him of accumulating properties worth Rs 50 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income. Verma, on the other hand, has been charged with earning properties worth Rs 1.43 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income.
   
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had already sanctioned confiscation of properties of other 11 public servants on November 11 last for earning properties through corrupt means, he said.
   
The ADG further said that among these public servants, Srikant Prasad was executive engineer of rural works department division-II in Aurangabad, Patna regional development authority Vice-Chairman Kalika Prasad, former motor vehicle inspector in Aurangabad Raghuvansh Kunwar, Anil Kumar (sale tax department, Arra), Gaya district municipal corporation retired revenue officer Yogendra Kumar and a forest official in Kaimur Bhola Prasad.
   
They all have been charged with accumulating huge wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income.
   
The bureau had also moved several special courts under Bihar special court act 2009 against several other public servants for confiscation of their properties earned through alleged corrupt means.
   
The public servants include the weights and measure department inspector (Raxaul) Omprakash Singh, Co-operative officer-cum-assistant registrar of Motihari Suresh Prasad,

Excise superintendent of Muzaffarpur Vakil Sanjay Kumar, sale tax officer of Sitamarhi Prasad Yadav and Executive engineer of N H Division, Saran district Madan Prasad Srivastava.
   
The state vigilance bureau had also moved the special courts for confiscation of illegal properties of four other public servants, including regional deputy director of education, Purnia, Naga Ram, mines inspector Shyam Narayan Singh besides sub-inspector of enforcement Department Kapil Muni Rai and state food corporation manager Devendra Verma.
   
The bureau had arrested 66 public servants in 2006, 131 in 2007, 97 in 2008 and 93 in 2009 for allegedly taking bribe, the ADG added.

(Agencies)