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Gauhati High Court disposes of PIL seeking inquiry into misappropriation of funds under MGNREGS in Assam

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Gauhati Oct 18 (ILNS) The Gauhati High Court last week closed the PIL seeking inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of funds regarding developmental works carried in Bhabanipur Development Block of Barpeta district under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme during the period 2014-2015, 2015-2016, as no one appeared for the petitioners.

The Division Bench of Justices N. Kotiswar Singh and Manish Choudhury stated that since the petitioners have remained unrepresented in respect of a matter pertaining to 2014-2015 and 2015 to 2016, it may not be necessary to keep this matter pending.

On October 8, no one appeared for the petitioners on call, though M. Bhattacharjee, Government Advocate, Assam, was present in the Court. On an earlier occasion also, when this matter was put up before the Lawazima Court on March 11, 2020, no one appeared for the petitioners, noted the Court and disposed of the PIL, without making any observation on the merit of the case.

“This PIL is closed with the observation that if the petitioners still have any grievance(s), they will be at liberty to approach the concerned authorities by submitting a representation along with necessary documents, which will be considered by the authorities and the authorities will take actions wherever necessary,” the order read.

The PIL was filed by Baser Uddin and two others who claimed the following relief –

A writ in the nature of Certiorari shall not be issued in setting aside (i) sanction order of May 19, 2015, in respect of developmental work mentioned at Sl. No.3 under MGNREGA 2014-2015, and (ii) sanction order passed on December 24, 2015 in respect of development work mentioned at Sl. No.13&14 under MGNREGA 2015-16. 
b) A writ in the nature of Mandamus shall not be issued directing the respondents to utilize the aforesaid sanctioned fund of Rs.4.818/- lakhs mentioned at Sl. No.3 of MGNREGA Scheme 2014-2015 in terms of sanction order of May 19, 2015 and sanctioned fund of Rs.4.000 lakhs and Rs.20.000/- lakhs mentioned at Sl. No.13&14 of MGNREGA Scheme 2015-16 in terms of sanction order of December 24, 2015 in the developmental works within the territorial jurisdiction of Bahmura GP. 
c) A writ in the nature of Mandamus shall not be issued directing for an enquiry to be held towards misutilization of sanctioned fund of Rs.4.818/- lakhs mentioned at Sl. No.3 of MGNREGA Scheme 2014-2015 contained in sanction order on May 19, 2015 and Rs.4.000 lakhs mentioned at Sl. No.13&14 of MGNREGA Scheme 2015-16 contained in sanction order of December 24, 2015 and/or 
d) Pass such orders as deemed fit and proper in the interest of justice and or perusal of records after hearing the parties made the Rule absolute.”

Without making any observation on the merit of the case, the Court is of the view that since the petitioners have remained unrepresented in respect of a matter pertaining to 2014-2015 and 2015 to 2016, it may not be necessary to keep this matter pending, the court said.

“Accordingly, this PIL is closed with the observation that if the petitioners still have any grievance(s), they will be at liberty to approach the concerned authorities by submitting a representation along with necessary documents, which will be considered by the authorities and the authorities will take actions wherever necessary”, the order reads./ILNS/SS/SNG/

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