CBI submits probe report on MNREGA before Supreme Court

CBI submits probe report on MNREGA before Supreme Court

The CBI has placed before the Supreme Court its report on the investigation into alleged corruption in utilisation of Central funds by six districts of Odisha for the rural job guarantee scheme under MNREGA.

The report in a sealed cover was placed on Friday before a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia in compliance with its May 12, 2011 order by which CBI was directed to conduct the investigation on the basis of survey reports provided by the petitioner, CAG report and the National Institute of Rural Development (NIRD).

The alleged irregularities have been detected in the districts of Kalahandi, Mayurbhanj, Rayagada, Bhawanipatna, Koraput and Malakangiri.

The CBI was asked to spell out the offences likely to be made against the officials.

The NGO, which is a petitioner in the matter, had submitted that as per the reports, there was misappropriation of funds between 53 per cent and 88 per cent in the six districts.

The apex court had on December 16, 2010, while hearing the PIL, rapped both the Union and the state governments for their failure in properly executing the rural job guarantee scheme.

The bench, also comprising justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, directed Orissa, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur to file affidavits making it clear whether they were following the guidelines laid down by the Centre in 2008 for the implementation of funds for MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005).

The hearing on the case will be held now after four weeks.

The NGO, which has filed a PIL on the issue, also sought court's direction for the CBI probe into the large scale irregularities in the implementation of the scheme in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The court had on May 12 last year issued notice to the governments of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh on allegations irregularities and diversion of funds for the MNREGA.

The NGO, Centre for Environment and Food Security, which had conducted a survey had claimed to have found alleged irregularities in implementation of the scheme.

It had alleged irregularity in disbursement of MNREGA funds meant for implementation of the rural job guarantee scheme.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, brought to the notice of the bench the letters written by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to the Uttar Pradesh government about the alleged diversion of MNREGA funds.

He submitted that either the court or the Centre itself can order CBI probe without taking the consent of the state government.

The court said it will deliberate on the issue during the coming hearing.

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