The Gauhati High Court closed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed against irregularities and illegalities in the disbursement of Rs 1.5 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA).
The petitioners enclosed a list of schemes including amounts that were earmarked for such schemes to raise the allegation of misappropriation of money in respect of such allegations.
In the course of the proceeding, an additional affidavit dated 28.09.2022 had been filed by the Superintendent of Police, Hailakandi.
On reading of the averments of the additional affidavit filed on 28.09.2022 , the Division Bench of Justice Achintya Malla Bujor Barua and Justice Robin Phukan noted that in respect of the allegation of irregularities/ misappropriation of funds in the disbursement of the MNREGA in the Hailakandi district, certain steps had been taken by the respondent authorities. Further, a charge-sheet corresponding to FIR had also been brought on record before the Court that in respect of one , a charge sheet under sections 120(B)/420/406/ 468/401 of the IPC had been filed.
As necessary inquiry had been made resulting in registration of criminal case, where charge-sheet had been filed, the Bench is of the view that as per the materials placed in this PIL petition, no further adjudication is required. Accordingly, the PIL petition stands closed.
It is expected by the High Court that the criminal proceeding initiated as per charge in the court of the learned Chief Judicial Magistrate, Hailakandi would be brought to its logical end.
K Konwar, Additional Advocate General, Assam appearing for the Panchayat and Rural Department (P&RD), states that even the informant James Aind, the Block Development Officer of South Hailakandi development block, had been departmentally proceeded against and at present, the process is still pending. It is stated that in respect of some of the contractual employees who were found involved in the irregularities were also proceeded through their respective departments and the departmental proceedings against them had been concluded in the meantime. Certain proceedings had also been initiated against some regular employees, who were found involved in the irregularities and against those persons, proceedings are pending.
The Court said that the respective departmental proceedings that have been initiated, be also brought to its logical end at the earliest. The Court granted liberty to the petitioner to approach it again if the petitioners have any further material on any further irregularities or illegality that may be committed.