Absconding woman IAS officer surrenders; taken into custody

Jodhpur (Rajasthan): Senior IAS officer Nirmala Meena surrendered before the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the State in the Rs 8-crore wheat scam case here on Wednesday. Documents pertaining to 19 immovable properties worth Rs 10 crore were found in a raid on her house. Meena’s husband, Pawan Mittal, a retired accounts officer, will also be arrested in connection with the scam.

ACB SP Ajaypal Lamba said after her surrender, Meena was taken to the Satpura Hospital. She will be taken on remand on Thursday morning, he added.

The scam

Meena sold Rs 8 crore rupees worth of wheat to bogus families in merely 15 days. In reality, the stocks were diverted to flour mills. After taking over as District Supply Officer of Jodhpur on March 16 last year, in a letter to the Rasad Department, she wrote that as the number of BPL families in the city had grown by 33,000 hence an additional 35,000 quintals of wheat should be allotted. In reality, the number of BPL families had not increased.

Went up to the SC

The case against Meena was registered five months ago. To escape arrest, she kept filing anticipator bail applications. After her plea was rejected by the ACB court, she went to the High Court in January 2018. The High Court junked her request on April 17, following which she went to the Supreme Court. Finally, on May 10, the Supreme Court also did not grant her anticipatory bail.

Custodial interrogation

The ACB wants to interrogate Meena about how and where the embezzled amount was used. A case of owning properties disproportionate to the known sources of income was registered against Meena and her husband after the property papers were seized from their house.