Government think-tank NITI Aayog on Thursday described the current stress in the financial sector as the “unprecedented in the last 70 years”. A recent data released by the Labour Ministry in May this year confirmed the unemployment rate at the highest in the country in 45 years, indicating how growing joblessness remains a matter of grave concern in India.

In sharp contrast to the prevailing situation, a government official in Bihar has been found to be holding three different jobs in different government departments and drawing huge amount as salary for the past 30 years. What is even strange is that the man continued to mark his attendance in the three different departments and availed time-bound promotions for over 30 years but the government didn’t get any inkling about his act.

Officials said Suresh Ram had been working as an assistant engineer with Building Construction Department in Kishanganj, Water Resources Department in Banka, and Bhimnagar East Embankment at Supaul-all at a time for the past three decades. It is, however, not clear how he managed to mark his attendance at three different departments at different locations—all these places located in a triangle.

Happy moments came in Ram’s life in 1988 when he got a job as a junior engineer in the Building Construction Department in Patna. Even as he was working there, he got a letter of appointment in the Water Resources Department the very next year which he accepted without resigning from his earlier post in the Building Construction Department. Very soon, he got another letter of appointment in the Water Resources Department at a different location and he joined it too quietly without letting anyone know.

The whole truth came to light last month when the state government introduced the Comprehensive Financial Management System (CFMS) for better financial management. Soon after the system came into existence, the government transferred all details of employees working in Bihar government to the CFMS, such as employee’s Adhaar number, PAN number, date of birth, identification marks, permanent address and their father’s name. It was then that the official was found working in three different departments at the same time. CFMS is a financial management application used by organization to management income, expenditure and asset details.

Reports said soon after the matter came to light, deputy secretary in the state government Chandra Shekhar Singh asked him to come to Patna with all the original documents. He reached there on 22 July with all the documents minus those related to his academic qualifications.

Executive engineer of Building Construction Department, Kishanganj, Madhusudhan Karn said the man was told to come with all his original documents soon but since then he has been absconding. Authorities have now registered a case of fraud against the official. Karn said he had registered a case against the official with the Sadar police station in Kishanganj district and had also written to his department for action against the fraudster.

“The case has been registered and further investigation is on. Action will be initiated after the probe is completed,” Kishanganj’s deputy superintendent of police Ajay Kumar Jha said.