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Patna High Court disposes PIL seeking direction to inquire into embezzlement of government yojna

The Patna High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking a direction upon the respondents to inquire into the allegations of embezzlement of government funds earmarked for Yojna under which a fund of Rs.6,25,000/- has been allotted to construct Anganwadi Centre No. 120 in Ward No. 8 at village Semara Nizamat, Gram Panchayat Raj Paharpur Manorath in Sahebganj block of Muzaffarpur in favour of the private respondents on a government land.

Despite the allotment of the fund , the private respondents have not constructed the Anganwadi Centre on government land, rather a house has been constructed on the land of one private person where the private person has been living with his family.

Taking note of the seriousness of the aforesaid compliant of the petitioner against the Panchayat Secretary and Mukhiya of Gram Panchayat Paharpur Manorath, showing embezzlement of public money, the High Court vide its order dated 30.04.2019, directed the District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur to get the matter examined and file counter affidavit.

In compliance therewith, a counter affidavit has been filed on behalf of the government respondents.

The matter was inquired and, prima facie, it has been found that the allotted fund to the tune of Rs.6,25,000/- has been unauthorizedly diverted by the then Panchayat Secretary and the Mukhiya of Gram Panchayat Raj Paharpur Manorath for construction of house meant for a private person, leading to show-cause notice to the Panchayat Secretary as to under what circumstances, the said building of Anganwadi Centre No. 120 was constructed on the private land. Despite the notice, no response has been made and thus the memo of charge was framed and he has been put under suspension with immediate effect.

Considering the avernments enumerated in the counter affidavit, as discussed hereinabove, the Division Bench of Chief Justice K. Vinod Chandran and Justice Harish Kumar deemed it apt and proper to dispose of the application with a hope and expectation that the departmental proceeding initiated against the erring Panchayat Secretary would come to its logical conclusion expeditiously, in accordance with law. The Court expected the authorities to ensure recovery of public funds, diverted for construction of a residential house for a private individual.

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