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Madhya Pradesh High Court dismisses PIL seeking direction to register a criminal case in financial irregularities committed under MP Panchayat Act

The Madhya Pradesh High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking direction to register a criminal case (FIR) and take action U/S 40 of MP Panchayat Act, against the Private Respondents with respect to financial irregularities committed by them.

On earlier occasion, at petition was filed in 2020 (PIL) wherein a direction was issued to the respondent No.3 (Chief Executive Officer, Jila Panchayat Singrauli) to consider the representation of the petitioner within thirty days and in pursuance to the order dated 07.12.2020, an enquiry was conducted by the respondent No.3 and the order of recovery dated 20.04.2022 was passed for a recovery to the tune of Rs 10,16,320 from Private Respondents. They were directed to deposit the amount within 15 days. As the order was being complied with, the present petition was filed.

On notice being issued, a reply has been submitted by the authorities. It is contended that under Section 92 of the Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Raj Avam Gram Swaraj Adhiniyam, 1993, a detailed reply was submitted by the Private Respondents pointing out the fact that the funds which have been referred were withdrawn for development work of the Panchayat and have been utilised in development work and construction.

The construction work has already been completed. The verification report was called for by the answering respondents which revealed that the construction work was completed. Thereafter, a final order has been passed by the Chief Executive Officer, Jila Panchayat Singrauli dated 17.04.2023 whereby the proceedings initiated against the Private Respondents were finally closed. After holding a detailed enquiry it has come on record that the recovery of the amount as directed in pursuance to the work which was not completed by the respondents No.5 and 6 for which they have made withdrawals have already been completed. Therefore, no further action is required in the matter.

Counsel appearing for the petitioner has not filed any rejoinder to the aforesaid. Meaning thereby, the relief which has been claimed by the petitioner has virtually been acted upon by the respondents/authorities.

They have enquired into the matter with respect to the allegations made in the complaint and as far as recovery directed by the authorities on earlier occasion, the same was enquired into by the Chief Executive Officer and the report has been submitted to the effect that the work has already been completed for which the amount was withdrawn and the action initiated in pursuance to Section 92 of the Adhiniyam of 1993 was closed against the Private Respondents , the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Vishal Mishra noted.

As the relief which has been claimed in the petition has virtually been addressed by the respondents, no further directions are required in the petition, the Bench observed.

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