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Gauhati High Court directs Assam govt to probe corruption allegations in Directorate of Welfare of Scheduled Castes

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The Gauhati High Court has directed the Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, to constitute a Committee of senior officers to look into the allegations regarding corruption in the Directorate of Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Assam.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhuliya and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak passed this direction on September 1, while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Amguri Naba Nirman Samity, regarding corruption in the Directorate of Welfare of Scheduled Castes, Assam.

P J Saikia, Counsel for the petitioner, stated that the PIL can be disposed of with a direction to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam to dispose of the pending representation filed by the petitioner, either by himself or by a committee, which may be constituted by him.

“In view of the submission of the Counsel for the petitioner, the Court held that since there are several documents annexed to the petition, many of which are RTI information received by the petitioner and which can be verified by the respondents, “We dispose of this PIL without calling for a counter affidavit with a direction to respondent no. 2, the Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, to constitute a Committee of senior officers to look into the allegations made in the aforesaid representation filed by the petitioner and to dispose of the same, in accordance with law, after giving an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner by passing a speaking order,” the Bench ordered.

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It clarified that while constituting the Committee, care must be taken to ensure that the officials, who are members of the Committee, are not the ones against whose department allegations have been made and  the needful be done as early as possible, preferably within a period of 12 weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of the order.

Petitioner (NGO) in the past had filed five other PILs out of which one PIL has been disposed of and the remaining four are still pending before the High Court, which are again regarding the issue of corruption in various departments of the state government.

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