A complaint has been filed in a vigilance court here charging Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and 26 others with “misappropriating public money” towards purchase of medicines for jails in the state.

Senior lawyer Sudhir Kumar Ojha filed the complaint yesterday after which the special vigilance judge S. N. Pandey fixed January 21 as the next date for hearing.

The case has been filed under sections 7, 8, 11, 12 13 (I) and 13 (II) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and sections 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code.

In the complaint, Mr. Ojha has alleged that prison department officials had purchased medicines for prisoners in different jails of north Bihar at rates much higher than the market price.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who also holds the additional portfolio of the state Home (prison) Department cannot escape the responsibility, he said.

He further charged that the medicines were purchased from pharmaceutical firms which had ceased its production during the period when the purchases were allegedly made.

The names of IG (prisons), 13 Jail Superintendents, besides officials of the Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals and Sada Shiv Pharma also figured in the complaint.

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