After 17 years of wait and legal entanglements, efforts of Amit Khare, the then district commissioner of Chibasa in south Bihar whose raid on the animal husbandry department unearthed the Rs 950 crore fodder scam, bore fruit on Monday when Lalu Prasad Yadav and others were convicted.
Recounting the raid he conducted on January 27, 1996, Khare, who is now a joint secretary in the union ministry of human resource development, says, “We never thought it would turn out to be such a big thing. But any upright and honest officer would have done the same.”
The 1985-batch IAS officer smelt a rat when he was investigating inputs from the state finance ministry about irregularities in use of funds at the district animal husbandry department. His office learnt that the district animal husbandry department had withdrawn Rs 10 crore and Rs 9 crore twice without giving any details, which was abnormal.
Even after repeated communication, nobody from the the animal husbandry department responded, which forced Khare to conduct the raid.
“Everybody, including the district animal husbandry officer, had fled from the office. Bogus bills were scattered all around and none of the bills was of more than Rs 10 lakh. I immediately sealed the office and the rest is history,” said Khare
Immediately after the raid, Khare informed the state finance commissioner, after which raids were conducted in other districts and the scam was unearthed.
Khare was later transferred to revive the then defunct Bihar State Labour Corporation. Due to the parliamentary elections in 1996 and his transfer, Khare did not face any political pressure within the state.
Later, Khare also served as director (primary education) of government of Bihar; state HRD secretary in Jharkhand; and also as in-charge vice-chancellor of Ranchi University.
Khare, who was born in Nagpur, completed his schooling in Ranchi and did graduation in physics (hons) from St Stephen’s College. He completed his PG in management from IIM Ahmedabad.
“There are many honest officers working in the system and I am sure they are doing great work,” 52-year-old Khare adds.
He is presently holding the charge of joint secretary, International Cooperation, Book Publishing and Copyrights and Education Policy and Planning in the Development of Higher Education in the union HRD ministry. His responsibilities include bilateral as also multi-lateral dialogues and negotiations as also interacting with UNESCO and WIPO.
Also see: Chronology of the fodder scam