Patna: Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday said the state government would probe afresh the soil purchase scam allegedly involving RJD chief Lalu Prasad's son Tej Pratap Yadav when he was environment and forest minister.
The alleged scam had earlier been probed by the state forest department during the previous RJD-JD(U)-Congress government and no irregularities were found at that time.
"Prima facie, gross irregularities have been found in the purchase of soil worth Rs 95.75 lakh for constructing pathways at Patna zoo.... The state government has decided to get the issue of soil purchase scam probed by state vigilance bureau," Modi told reporters.
Modi, who also holds portfolios of finance and environment and forest, said as of now the government has not fixed any time-frame for completing the investigation, but would certainly do it later.
Referring to the Patna High Court's 13 October order seeking an inquiry status report from the Bihar government in the "soil purchase scam", Modi said, "We will inform the high court that the state government has handed over the probe to the vigilance department."
The high court had passed the order while hearing a PIL on the same issue.
As the then leader of opposition in Legislative Council, Modi had on 4 April alleged that soil excavated for construction of two basement floors of a mall was purchased by Patna zoo for over Rs 90 lakh without floating tender.
The zoo was under Tej Pratap Yadav's department.
The shopping mall is being developed on a land owned by a company in which Tej Pratap Yadav and Prasad's other son Tejashwi Prasad Yadav were directors.
Modi had charged Tej Pratap with giving the contract of over Rs 90 lakh for earth filling work in the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, popularly known as Patna zoo.
Following the allegation, the state forest department made an investigation which found that official procedure was duly followed in the case and prima facie no evidence of irregularity had come to light.
Updated Date: Oct 24, 2017 22:25 PM