Forest Officer and Corruption Exposed in Nagaon: Asomiya Pratidin Report Makes Impact!

Asomiya Pratidin's 2022 news report on rampant corruption involving a forest official colluding with an illegal timber syndicate in Assam's Nagaon to allow gross misappropriation bore fruit on Thursday.
Forest Officer and Corruption Exposed in Nagaon: Asomiya Pratidin Report Makes Impact!
Forest Officer and Corruption Exposed in Nagaon: Asomiya Pratidin Report Makes Impact!

Asomiya Pratidin's 2022 news report on rampant corruption involving a forest official colluding with an illegal timber syndicate in Assam's Nagaon to allow gross misappropriation bore fruit on Thursday, with investigations revealing that the government servant amassed wealth far exceeding his legitimate sources of income.

AFS officer Bhaskar Deka, DFO Nagaon and others indulged in corruption raking in Rs 15,000 per truck to allow the transportation of illegally felled trees from the Salana forest, the article titled 'Bon Bishaya Chorang Beparir Syndicate: Madhya Asomat bon dhangsa' published in Asomiya Pratidin on May 5, 2022 alleged.

Accordingly, a case numbered 05/2022 was registered at the Vigilance Police Station under sections 13(1) and 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 regarding the disproportionate assets accumulated by Bhaskar Deka, a resident of New Town Path in Guwahati's Ulubari.

The FIR stated that AFS Bhaskar Deka and his wife acquired assets disproportionate to their known legal income sources, despite him being a government officer.

In a press statement, the Superintendent of Police, Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell, Assam said, “Upon completion of investigation, and based upon oral, circumstantial, documentary and material evidences, it was proved that Bhaskar Deka being a public servant had committed criminal misconduct for his pecuniary benefit, and by corrupt, illegal means and by exercise of personal influence he performed his public duty dishonestly. He was found to have committed criminal misconduct as he intentionally enriched himself illicitly during the period of his office abusing his position as a public servant.”

In the course of investigation, it was found that the said DFO (U/S) conducted foreign visits without permission from the competent authority, CM’s SVC stated.

“It was also found that the accused was trying to liquidate the disproportionate assets in his favour and his family members. Therefore, he was arrested on January 18, 2024, as he did not hand over the Indian passport. After arrest he was remanded to five days police custody. On completion of the remand period, he was sent to the judicial custody and presently he is in the district central Jail, Guwahati. During investigation, the engaged empaneled Chartered Accountant firm had analyzed and conducted a forensic auditing of all his financial transactions and details of his immoveable and moveable properties and found the Percentage of the Disproportionate Assets accrued by the arrested accused Bhaskar Deka, AFS, DFO (U/S) to be 183%,” reads the press statement.

The Chief Minister’s Special Vigilance Cell, Assam also claimed that Bhaskar Deka possessed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs. 5,38,16,763 against his known sources of Income.

On receipt of the prosecution sanction accorded by the Department of Environment and Forests, Government of Assam, against the arrested accused Bhaskar Deka, AFS, DFO (U/S), the chargesheet has been submitted on Thursday vide Vigilance Police Station Chargesheet No.03/2024 dated February 29, 2024 under section 13(1)(b)/13(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (as amended in 2018). The total pages in the chargesheet are 508 pages.

“The investigation of the case has been kept open under section 173(8) of CrPC for criminal conspiracy and abetment by other person with the arrested accused Bhaskar Deka, AFS, DFO, (U/S) for the charges of accumulation of disproportionate assets,” the statement reads further.

Forest Officer and Corruption Exposed in Nagaon: Asomiya Pratidin Report Makes Impact!
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