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Gauhati High Court seeks status report from state on action taken against officials accused of financial irregularities

According to the affidavit-in-opposition filed on 24.08.2021 in which it has been stated that after receiving reports from the Chief Executive Officer, Hailakandi Zilla Parishad and Block Development Officer, South Hailakandi Development Block, immediate steps has been taken by conducting a departmental enquiry through the Deputy Director (Technical) to make on the spot inspection.

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The Gauhati High Court has directed the Assam government to submit a status report of actions taken in connection with financial irregularities and mismanagement against seven government employees on the next date of hearing on October 5.

The Division Bench of Justice N. Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury heard a PIL filed by Jahir Uddin Laskar and Afjal Hussain Tapadar alleging various allegations of financial irregularities and misappropriation against certain functionaries. The petitioner said the allegations are fortified by reports prepared by the Assistant Engineer, South Hailakandi Development Block and the Assistant Executive Engineer, DRDA, Hailakandi dated 08.06.2020 .

M. Nath, Additional Senior Government Advocate for the respondents, submitted that actions have been already initiated. According to  the affidavit-in-opposition filed on 24.08.2021 in which it has been stated  that after receiving reports from the Chief Executive Officer, Hailakandi Zilla Parishad and Block Development Officer, South Hailakandi Development Block, immediate steps has been taken by conducting a departmental enquiry through the Deputy Director (Technical) to make on the spot inspection.

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Accordingly, the Enquiry Officer has submitted his report and on the basis of the said report, departmental action has been initiated by issuing show cause notices dated 3.12.2020 to the 7 (seven) numbers of delinquent officials of the South Hailakandi Development Block viz. Sri James Aind, ACS, In-Charge BDO, Giasuddin Laskar, Accredited Engineer, Anuj Uddin Laskar, Accredited Engineer, Baharul Islam, Gram Rozgar Sahayak, Nurul Islam Laskar, Gram Rozgar Sahayak, Ajoy Laskar, Gram Rozgar Sahayak, Anadi Das, Gram Rozgar Sahayak.

After receiving the said notices, replies have been filed by those officials and presently the matter is under consideration before your deponent. So far the private respondent is concerned, he was arrested by the police personnel of Katlicherra Police Station. Accordingly, pending drawl of departmental proceeding, he was placed under suspension vide order dated 8.01.2021 issued by your deponent.

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It has been submitted that departmental action has been initiated against certain officials as well as an FIR has been lodged against certain individuals in connection with financial irregularities and mismanagement.

Under the circumstances, the Court is also satisfied that the authorities have initiated certain steps to deal with such issues of financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds as alleged. However, the High Court deemed it appropriate that the authorities not only initiate but bring to their logical conclusion the actions so initiated as there should not be any compromise with corruption, misappropriation and financial irregularities of scare public money.

“Accordingly, we will require the State respondents to submit the status report of the actions so taken as mentioned above, by the next date on 05.10.2021.  List the matter again on 05.10.2021,”

-the order reads.

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