The Meghalaya Lokayukta, PK Musahary, has ordered a full inquiry in the case filed by one Nappier Marak against the Block Development Officer of Baghmara block, Saintfield Ch Sangma, for alleged misappropriation and nepotism, among offences.
Preliminary investigations ordered earlier by the Lokayukta had shown that there had been cases of misappropriation and nepotism in the case.
The case was heard yesterday where a counter complaint to the inquiry report sought the quashing of the report and cancellation of the petition against the BDO by his lawyer, R Gurung.
Marak, who is being represented by PT Sangma, opposed the move over the fact that the preliminary report had already indicated corruption, nepotism, bribery and other malpractices.
“He is very much responsible and answerable for various allegations. In the matter of awarding works and payment of bills to contractors under MGNREGS (the national rural guarantee scheme) in the Baghmara C&RD Block,” contended the lawyer.
Agreeing with Marak’s lawyer, the Lokayukta asked for the presence of the BDO in the proceedings of the court.
“The inquiry report expressed an opinion that a detailed, in-depth inquiry was necessary as the scheme was prevailing in the entire block. Accordingly, permission has been given for a detailed inquiry,” said the order.
The Lokayukta noted that the initial inquiry revealed that contract work was only given to a few selected traders over the course of several years.
As per the report, the complainant had transferred money on no less than eight occasions to an account of another person, apparently at the behest of the BDO.
“Due to paucity of time the inquiry into the transfer of money between respondent No. 2 and complainant was not verified in detail and hence a detailed and thorough investigation into the allegation of taking bribe against the BDO is needed. Therefore I am of the view that the allegations of malpractice, nepotism, unequal treatment etc, are the matter under the purview of the Lokayukta Act 2014. This part of the scam should be dealt with departmentally,” added the order.
The Lokayukta order asked the Chief Secretary to constitute a high-level inquiry as it involved over Rs 184 crore of central government money.
The action taken report is to be submitted within 40 days from the date of the order.