Apex court orders CBI probe in job scheme implementation

May 13th, 2011 - 12:18 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into irregularities in the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme in six districts of Orissa.

The six districts that will be under the scanner of the investigating agency are Bolangir, Kalahandi, Koraput, Naurangpur, Nuapada and Rayagada.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Panickar Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar in its order directed the CBI to file its first status report in six months.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Swatanter Kumar said that “the investigation shall be restricted to 100 villages in six districts of Orissa as spelt out in the notification issued by Orissa April 23, 2011″.

It further directed the CBI to take into consideration all the three documents, that is the survey report prepared by the petitioner Centre for Environment And Food Security, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report of March 31, 2009 and the report submitted by National Institute of Rural Development to Orissa.

In respect of other irregularities, the order said that the investigating agency will submit a report to the chief secretary of Orissa for an appropriate action in accordance with law.

It was the CAG report which first pointed out irregularities running into crores of rupees in the implementation of the job scheme in the state.

The order said that it will be useful for the concerned authorities in the central government to ponder over the entire matter and propose such directions or measures which the state government should take in order to prevent its recurrence.

The court also asked the central and all the state governments to file affidavits in six weeks, stating they are implementing the scheme strictly in accordance with MNREGA guidelines.

The order said since there has been persistent default on the part of a number of states in fully implementing the provisions of the act, we hereby direct all the state governments to file affidavits stating whether they have accepted and are duly implementing the Operational Guidelines issued by the Government of India, within six weeks.

“In the event, these guidelines have not been accepted or are not being implemented, the affidavit shall specifically state reasons for such non-acceptance and/or non-implementation of the afore-stated directions/guidelines.”

The court has also issued notice to Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh governments asking them to respond to the report of the petitioner Centre for Environment & Food Security with regard to implementation of the act.

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