Lokayukta orders prosecution of BDO

Govt staff, deceased on list of job card holders  

Meghalaya Times Exclusive

Staff Reporter

Shillong, Oct29: The Meghalaya Lokayukta today passed an order to prosecute a Block Development Officer and other accused persons regarding the misuse of funds in connection with job card holders under MGNREGS in Demdema Community and Rural Development Block, West Garo Hills.

This is the first prosecution sanction accorded by the Lokayukta till date. 

An official source said that the Chairperson of   Lokayukta, P K Musahary recommended that those involved in the misappropriation of funds should be prosecuted and trial should take place in a special court.

The order issued during the virtual hearing of the case was following a petition filed before the Lokayukta regarding large scale corruption while disbursing money to the job card holders.

Earlier, Nazmul Hashan, an advocate and resident of Askikandi in West Garo Hills, had urged the Lokayukta to probe corruption in the functioning of Village Employment Council (VEC) at Askikandi village. He had revealed that the list of job cardholders had the names of deceased persons and government employees.
He had also referred to the distribution of cash to the job card holders instead of transferring money to their bank accounts.

Following this, police had submitted an interim report and later, a detailed probe was carried out to examine the irregularities in the whole Demdema Block.   

The prosecution sanction was after going through both the preliminary and final probe reports of the police.  

The probe report said that over Rs 1 crore was paid to  the non-entitled job card holders by the BDO in 2019-20 and there were names of deceased job card holders, dual job card holders and bogus job card holders .    

The report also pointed out that government employees were allowed to withdraw money illegally in Demdema Block.        

The Lokayukta found that prima facie there was enough material evidence to prosecute the accused.  

The probe reports indicated non-implementation of the government scheme as per the guidelines.    

According to the Lokayukta, the BDO and Village Employment Councils are allegedly involved in the scam.

Earlier, after the petition was moved by Advocate Pillarson Sangma, the Lokayukta had asked the DGP to cause an inquiry.

The Lokayukta has also appointed Andrew Sangma, additional secretary, law as the director of prosecution. Sangma will handle the prosecution wing of the Lokayukta.