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Court orders probe into fund misuse by village council

Aizawl: Special Court (Prevention of Corruption Act) in Aizawl on Thursday instructed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to reinvestigate the alleged misappropriation of funds by former village council of Chhingchhip village in central Mizoram’s Serchhip district.

The Special Judge H.T.C Lalrinchhana rejected the final report (FR) submitted by the Investigating Officer (IO) of the ACB pleading to dismiss the case and instructed the ACB to reinvestigate the case.

In the preliminary investigation the ACB had found prima facie case against 5 former members of the village council of Chhingchhip including the village council president (VCP) J. Lalduhzuala who allegedly swindled funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

The preliminary inquiry, it was found that the outgoing village council leaders handed over Rs. 2,01,559 collected from job card holders (MNREGS beneficiaries) to the new village council while the amount was estimated to be Rs. 7,06,400.

It was also detected by the investigators that the works done under the former village council leaders were not up to the mark as against the amount of expenditures incurred for different works.

As the preliminary investigation had found prima facie case against the accused persons the Special Court had already rejected the bail pleas of the accused persons.

The court rejected the FR submitted by the case IO, after registering a regular case, on the grounds that he did not find prima facie evidence of commitment of misappropriation of funds by the former village council of Chhingchhip. 

The Special Judge ordered “This court is satisfied that despite closure report (Final Report) is submitted by the case IO, a prima facie case compelling re-investigation of the case is well established for the interest of justice and is directed accordingly.”

Mizoram Lokayukta and Sr. Superintendent of Police, Anti-Corruption Bureau are kindly directed to be prompted on re-investigation of the case in line with the aforesaid points of dissent of closure report, the Special Judge added. 

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Zoram Chronicle