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Flood scam: No bail for Time hero

June 06, 2005 12:32 IST

A Patna special court on Monday turned down the anticipatory bail application of former Patna district magistrate Gautam Goswami, who has been evading arrest in the multi-crore flood relief scam.

Soon after designated Vigilance Judge Jitendra Mohan Prasad dismissed Goswami's petition, the latter's lawyer said his client would either surrender or move a superior court against the order.

Referring to the argument of the defence counsel that several other officials were involved in the relief work carried out with the help of army helicopters and boats, senior public prosecutor for Vigilance P P Singh showed a copy of the payment of Rs 2 lakh made by Goswami to a fake firm Ambika Coffee House for coffee from the funds allotted to him as Patna district magistrate-cum-nodal officer for carrying out relief operations in flood-hit north Bihar.

"The fund for relief was spent on purchasing coffee and that too from a firm which the vigilance bureau is yet to locate," he said.

He said cheques worth several crores were also issued to a fake firm, Baba Satya Sai Industries (BSSI) instead of the Bihar Small Scale Industries Corporation (BSSIC), towards payment for managing relief.

The Vigilance judge had on May 31 issued non-bailable warrants against Goswami and eight others, including Santosh Jha, the alleged kingpin of the scam.

Jha had already surrendered before the designated judge Prasad who had remanded him to judicial custody till June 10.

Vigilance sleuths have arrested five of the 28 accused.

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