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Embezzlement of MGNREGA, IAY & other funds: Gauhati HC asks House panel to examine charge

Relying on an earlier judgment by a Division Bench of the court on May 19 last

GHC

Sentinel Digital Desk

STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI: Relying on an earlier judgment by a Division Bench of the court on May 19 last, the Gauhati High Court has directed that allegations of embezzlement of funds during implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) and other schemes in certain districts of the State should be placed for consideration before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Assam Legislative Assembly.

The allegation was levelled via a Public Interest Litigation (58/2022) by an NGO named Amguri Naba Nirman Samity, on the basis of an audit report of the Accountant General (Audit), Assam. The PIL alleged that the financial embezzlement in implementation of the MGNREGA, IAY and other schemes had occurred in the Kamrup, Nagaon, Baksa, Karbi Anglong, Cachar, Udalguri, Nalbari, Chirang, Kokrajhar and Goalpara districts.

The PIL urged the court to direct the Government departments concerned to conduct an inquiry through a high-level inquiry committee, identify the Government officials and other persons involved in the misappropriation of funds, and thereafter launch appropriate proceedings for their punishment and also for recovery of the misappropriated money.

However, the Additional Senior Government Advocate, Assam, submitted that the PIL is not sustainable as it is purely based on a CAG report and it is the function of the Public Accounts Committee of the Assembly to examine such reports and to take remedial steps if any discrepancy is found. The advocate also referred to the earlier judgement of a Division Bench of the court, whereby it had directed a similar PIL to be placed before the PAC for consideration and necessary action. The court concurred with this argument and directed the State Government to place the matter before the PAC within eight weeks.

Also Read: 3,44,981 MGNREGA works incomplete in Assam

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