MNREGA fund ‘misuse’: High Court notice to Pandhari Yadav
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The Allahabad High Court has issued notice to Special Secretary to Chief Minister Pandhari Yadav and some other officials on a petition alleging misuse and embezzlement of funds to the tune of around Rs 400 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) in Sonbhadra district. Yadav is former district magistrate of Sonbhadra.
The court has fixed August 6 as the next date of hearing.
The petition was filed by one Rajesh Kumar Dubey before a Division Bench of Justices Amitava Lala and Pradeep Kumar Singh Baghel on July 10.
Issuing notices, the court directed the respondents to file their responses within two weeks. The petitioner would be given one-week time to file rejoinder following which the matter would come up for hearing on August 6.
Apart from Yadav, three other officials of Sonbhadra district, namely Hakim Singh, N P Singh and Tejendra Bahadur Singh, have also been made respondents. Notices have also been issued to the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Rural Development), Union of India (through Ministry of Rural Development), Commissioner (Rural Development) and some other senior officials.
The petition alleged that no action has been taken against these officials despite adverse reports from the Centre's inquiry team and the State Quality Monitor (SQM) regarding MGNREGS works in Sonbhadra.
In his prayer, the petitioner said: "The court may be pleased to direct the state government to take stern actions and also initiate CBI inquiry against the respondents No. 7 (Yadav), 8, 9 and 10 for the misappropriation of Rs 400 crore taking into consideration the report of the Inspection team and of the Government of India, as well as the Inspection Team of the State Government."
Among other things, the petition has cited the report submitted by retired IAS officer Vinod Shankar Chaube, who chaired a 16-member committee constituted by the state government following several complaints of embezzlement.
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