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Meghalaya: Lokayukta orders legal action against GHADC executive committee

The Lokayukta has ordered the Superintendent of Police, East Garo Hills to register an FIR against officers of GHADC and contractors for rampant corruption and misappropriation of public money in the execution of various projects under Williamnagar constituency.

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Shillong: The NPP-led executive committee in Meghalaya’s Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC) has been hit with the Lokayukta ordering legal action against officials of the council and several contractors involved in siphoning of funds in the implementation of projects under Williamnagar constituency.

The Lokayukta has ordered the Superintendent of Police, East Garo Hills to register an FIR against officers of GHADC and contractors for rampant corruption and misappropriation of public money in the execution of various projects under Williamnagar constituency.

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The order was passed by Chairperson of Meghalaya Lokayukta, Justice (Retd) P K Musahary on February 26 after detailed hearing on the matter based on the complaint lodged by social activist Nilbath Ch Marak.

“The person/persons against whom prima facie case of misuse and misappropriation of funds are found should be brought to book and prosecuted in accordance with the provisions under the Code of Criminal Procedure and punished under Indian Penal Code and/or appropriate law,” the order said.

The Lokayukta also directed the Director General of Police to monitor the entire criminal

prosecution even as the Superintendent of Police, East Garo Hills district was directed to inform the registry of Lokayukta about the initiation of criminal proceedings within ten days from the receipt of the order.

According to the Lokayukta, an amount of Rs 100.71 crore was allotted by the Central government to the GHADC as special assistance during 2015-16 for developmental purposes. However, as per the statement of actual expenditure of Rs 69, 21, 44,816 submitted by

GHADC, it was found that 60 per cent advance was paid to the contractors for execution of various works and the final bill was paid on February 21, 2017. It was not mentioned in the inquiry report whether payment of 60 per cent advance is permissible or not under the existing rules and procedures of the State government. The Lokayukta also said that there was no date in the utilization certificate and it was neither approved by the elected body of GHADC.

The Lokayukta also questioned the GHADC for non-submission of utilization certificate for the balance amount of Rs 31, 49, 55,184.

“Nothing is found as to whether the authority submitted the utilization certificate for the balance amount of Rs 31, 49, 55,184. No explanation is also given for non-submission of utilization certificate for the said amount,” the Lokayukata observed.

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