Bengal IAS officer in CID custody over development scam

Siliguri, July 16 (IANS) IAS officer Godala Kiran Kumar, arrested for his alleged involvement in the Rs.100 crore Siliguri-Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) scam, was on Thursday sent to CID custody for four days by a court here.

Kiran Kumar, now serving as joint secretary (agriculture) in the West Bengal government, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department of West Bengal Police on Wednesday after a marathon grilling.

He was presented in the court of the additional chief judicial magistrate in Siliguri on Thursday.

While the CID counsel sought four days’ remand, the defence lawyer prayed for bail.

After hearing both sides, ACJM Debanjan Ghosh rejected the bail application and sent Kiran Kumar to CID custody.

The 2005 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer is the prime accused in the SJDA scam, related to alleged corruption in the purchase of three electric furnaces for crematorium, installation of CCTV in Siliguri town, execution of a sewage treatment plant to check pollution in the Mahananda river and cleaning of the Jorapani-Fuleswari river during his stint as SJDA CEO.

The Enforcement Directorate is also probing the graft case.

Kiran Kumar was earlier arrested in November 2013 in a case related to alleged siphoning of funds in the purchase of CCTV cameras. He was then the district magistrate of Malda. However, he was granted bail the very next day.

The then Siliguri commissioner of police K. Jayaraman was removed by the Mamata Banerjee government for ordering the arrest without seeking prior permission from the state administration as well as not giving any prior intimation about the action.

Altogether 11 people, including SJDA officials and contractors, have been arrested so far for their alleged involvement in the scam.

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