IMPHAL, January 13: Over Rs. 43 lakhs sanctioned under the 13th Finance Commission has been allegedly misappropriated by the Autonomous District Council, Chandel in the name of developmental work in the district.
Of the total amount misappropriated Rs. 18,59,669 was meant for the construction of community hall at Aimol Chingnunghut and Rs. 25,00,000 for the construction of playground with gallery at Galngam Lentol at Moreh.
The total sum amounting to Rs. 43,59,669 was enchased on May 12, 2014 at the SBI Chandel district from the account number 11831653089 with cheque number 266708.
Surprisingly, it is learnt that the said two projects have already been completed and implemented after release of necessary funds under the Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF) Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj in the year 2007-08 and 2009-2011 respectively.
At the time the total cost of the project was estimated to be Rs. 24,00,000 of which the construction of the community hall cost Rs. 8,00,000 and while the construction of playground with gallery at Galngam Lentol cost Rs. 16,00,000.
Meanwhile, the High Court of Manipur has issued a directive to the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj to check alleged misappropriation.
The directive was issued on December 19, 2014 by a double bench comprising of Justice N Kotishwar and Justice Kh Nobin Singh, following a PIL (no.28 of 2014) filed with the Court.
Senior Advocate N Ibotombi, appeared on behalf of the counsel while Th Ibohal Singh advocate general appeared as a State respondents and S Rupachandra, ASG for respondent number 1 Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
In the PIL, the petitioner sought certain directions to be issued to the respondents regarding the alleged misappropriations of fund sanctioned under the 13th Finance Commission for the development of the hill areas, more particularly with reference to Chandel district and also for a direction to investigation the alleged misappropriation.
The petitioner pointed out that despite the completion of the project, the autonomous district council Chandel in its 75th executive committee meeting held on May 8, 2014 again proposed for construction of the said two projects and sought the intervention of the court in the matter.
Subsequently, the court observed that the petitioner would be at liberty to approach respondent No.1 (Ministry of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj) by submitting a detail representation highlighting his grievances with supporting documents. At the same time, the respondents shall consider the same and take appropriate action as it may deem fit in accordance with the law.
While counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner agreed to submit the representation within three weeks, the court directed the respondent (no.1) to consider the representation within three months.