Thursday, September 28, 2023

Calcutta HC directs Cooch Behar DM to look into grievance of misappropriation of MGNREGA funds

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The Calcutta High Court has directed the District Magistrate, Cooch Behar (Panchayat & RD Section) to decide the representation of the petitioner raising the grievance that under various schemes of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, the Pradhan of Gitaldah-II Gram Panchayat and her husband have misappropriated funds and unjustly credited the amount in the job card bank account of the Pradhan.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Niranjan Sen.

When the matter was taken up, the counsel for the petitioner raised a limited submission that the petitioner has already filed a representation dated 11.01.2022 before the respondent No.4 [The District Magistrate, Cooch Behar (Panchayat & RD Section)] and the said representation has not been decided, therefore a direction be issued to the respondent No.4 to consider the petitioner’s grievance and decide the representation.

Jahar Lal De, counsel for the State, said he has no objection to such a prayer. The counsel for the Pradhan has disputed the allegation.

“Having regard to the nature of allegation and controversy involved in the matter as also the prayer made at this stage, we dispose of the petition by directing the respondent No.4 to duly consider the grievance raised by the petitioner in the representation dated 11.01.2022 and decide the same after giving an opportunity of hearing to all the concerned parties and getting the inquiry conducted, if required,” the Court directed.

Let this exercise be completed by the respondent No.4 within a period of 3 months from the date of receipt of the copy of this order, the Bench further directed.

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