Arunachal Pradesh Not Showing Results Due to Pilferage of Money Pumped Into the State: Gauhati High Court:
A bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Sandeep Mehta and Justice Mitali Thakuria, hearing the case, remarked that the money pumped into the State has not led to any attendant results.
GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court on Wednesday took umbrage at the instances of corruption and pilferage of public money that were taking place in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, saying that stringent action should be taken against those responsible.
A high court bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Sandeep Mehta and Justice Mitali Thakuria, while hearing the case of Central Bureau of Investigation vs Nabam Tuki and others, stated that although money is being pumped into the State, no attendant results have been recorded so far.
A petition concerning allegation of aberrations by the Arunachal Pradesh’s Public Works Department (PWD) in handling of contracts was being heard by the Court.
Earlier in 2021, a new case against former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki for purported patronage and corruption was registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The CBI case had stated that a 2005 tender, which was originally awarded to the PWD, was subsequently given over to entities connected with his family members.
"All work orders were given to family members, sir. Ultimately it is public money, it is the taxpayers money, it is your money, it is my money. It is being pilferaged like anything. How many times have you visited Arunachal Pradesh? Please have a look at that State, what money has been pumped in, and what has resulted”, Chief Justice Mehta said.
“Do not ask us to comment on that. It is preposterous, I would say. Unless the people who have pilfered are brought to book, nothing can happen. So let CBI continue its probe," the CJ continued.
The advocate for the CBI forwarded the view that Section 17A of the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act) of 2018 would not apply in the case, as the complaint was registered and the initial investigation had begun before the time it was enacted.
Under the amended PC Act, it has been mandated that prior approval from the State government ought to be obtained before even a preliminary enquiry was conducted.
The bench, prima facie, said that it agreed with the contention that Section 17A could not be applied in the case.
The Court said that the Law is ‘well settled’, and that retrospective action is not possible under procedural law. “Herein process was set into motion earlier," the court observed.
The court, therefore, ruled that the CBI probe can be continued.
The accused party was represented by Kamal Nayan Choudhury, a Senior Advocate.
The next date of hearing has been fixed on June 15.