Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Madhya Pradesh High Court rejects PIL seeking probe into misappropriation of money in Rewa municipal corporation

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court has disposed of a PIL, seeking direction to the respondents to conduct an enquiry into the misappropriation of money in the Municipal Corporation, Rewa.

The PIL was filed by Ghanshyam Prasad Pandey in 2011, seeking direction to the state government to conduct enquiry into the alleged illegal appointments and promotions of employees and officers being done in the Municipal Corporation, Rewa and cancel the same. However, during the pendency of the PIL, the petitioner sought to amend the petition and the application for amendment was allowed by order dated July 25, 2011.

The said prayer was deleted and a new prayer was incorporated, seeking direction to the respondents to conduct an enquiry about the misappropriation of money in the Municipal Corporation, Rewa to the tune of Rs 4,42,33,200 and recovery of the same be made from the said persons.

The Jabalpur Division Bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla, after going through the memorandum of the petition, noted that as per the report of the Municipal Corporation, Rewa, the Corporation has suffered losses of the aforementioned amount.

It was alleged that some of the appointments were made without the existence of posts and without following the procedure. Certain employees were dismissed from service and were ultimately reinstated in service, thus causing loss to the State Exchequer.

The Bench further noted that the petitioner has not laid down complete foundation for directing enquiry into the alleged loss except an audit report. On that basis, the petitioner sought to contend that these persons were wrongly paid the amount, which is liable to be recovered and therefore, an enquiry ought to be made. But the petitioner, during the pendency of the writ petition, deleted the original prayer about the enquiry into the nature of appointment/promotion of various employees, ostensibly, because none of the affected employees was impleaded as parties. The matter has remained pending for the past one decade, observed the Bench.

The respondents have filed a reply to the writ petition raising objection about the non-impleadment of any of the named employees, therefore, the allegations of the petitioner are denied.

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It is stated that different Commissioners have remained posted in the Municipal Corporation, Rewa from time to time and therefore, the allegation of irregularities only against two of them may not be acceptable. The respondents, however, denied that any illegal appointment was made. The respondents in their reply have made reference to the interim orders passed by this Court (Arun Kumar Singh Vs. State of M.P. & Another) on April 5, 2006 and on dated February 9, 2010 and November 25, 2020 (B.K. Singh Parihar Vs. State of M.P. & Another).

“Having regard to the facts of the case, since we are not having sufficient material to hold that the appointments/promotions were not legal. However, considering that no reply has been filed by respondent No.1- State Government, we set the petitioner at liberty to approach respondent No.1- State Government, Urban Administration and Development Department, Vallabh Bhawan, Bhopal (MP), with all his allegations for examining them in accordance with law,” the order read.

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