Six sent to jail for embezzling rural job scheme funds

First conviction in Rajasthan for MGNREGS anomalies

In the first ever conviction in the state for fudging MGNREGA works, a lower court in Beawar in Ajmer has sentenced four persons to seven years in jail with a fine of Rs 50,000 each and two others for three years with a fine of Rs 10,000 each.

These persons were accused of anomalies of about Rs 1.41 crore in the operation of
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme run by Malaton Ki Weir panchayat.

In what had turned out to be the biggest ever fraud in managing MGNREGS funds by a single panchayat, a special audit team of the government unearthed the scam in procurement of materials at the Malaton Ki Weir panchayat in 2010. The social audit of the panchayat was due till the high court put a stay on it.

Those convicted for seven years include the sarpanch Ganpat Singh Malawat, gram sevak Lalchand Yogi, junior technical assistant Manish Mittal and assistant engineer Bahgda Ram Prajapat.

Block Development Officer Naresh Kumar Badwan and the programme officer Pushpa Manawat have been convicted for three years. The conviction has come as a shot in the arm for those crying out against rising anomalies in MGNREGA works in the state.

At a time when social audit of MGNREGA works has been wrapped up in Rajasthan and the special government audits are not even being conducted, the conviction is perhaps the first step in instilling fear in those who steal public money.

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