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PMO letter spells trouble for Jharkhand IAS officer Rajbala Verma

Jharkhand Chief Secretary Rajbala Verma, who has had a controversial career, has now courted a fresh trouble just ahead of her retirement. She has now been accused of shielding an officer who allegedly indulged in misconduct in coal block allocation. The Prime Minister’s Office had taken cognisance of the issue and sent a letter to the principal secretary of Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das, asking for investigation against Rajbala Verma and senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer AP Singh, reported Prabhat Khabar. The letter from the PMO is reportedly in response to letters sent to it by Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) leader Dilip Mishra in July and September 2017. In his letters to the PMO, Mishra had sought action against Rajbala Verma and AP Singh. According to the letters, Rajbala Verma and AP Singh had made false report concerning then Palamau district collector Puja Singhal to protect her. Acting on the same, the Personnel and Training Department of Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pension recommended a probe against Verma and Singh to the PMO. The letter from PMO, dated January 25, 2018, has asked the government to take necessary action in the case. The issue concerns allocation of 200 acre of land to Kathotia Coal Block Private Limited in Palamau. Rajbala Verma is a 1983 batch Bihar cadre IAS officer, and has been in several controversies during her service. Earlier, she faced attack from opposition parties for allegedly writing to a private bank to pressure them for funding her son’s company. Besides, she was also accused of laxity in the probe concerning fodder scam.

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