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SC asks CAG to examine award of Govt contracts in Arunachal Pradesh to firms linked to CM's Kin
3/20/2024 10:07:45 PM
NEW DELHI, Mar 20: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to examine award of government contracts to firms allegedly linked to the family members of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu. The order came from a bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi while disposing of a 2010 plea filed by NGO 'Voluntary Arunachal Sena' seeking an investigation by a central agency like the CBI into allegations of corruption against Khandu's kin.
Lawyers Prashant Bhushan and Neha Rathi appeared for the Arunachal Pradesh-based organisation which had alleged "gross illegalities, malpractices, rampant corruption and misappropriation of funds coupled with abuse of power in critical areas of governance in the state". It was alleged that government contracts, including the one pertaining to distribution of rice, was awarded to firms of relatives of the chief minister.
"Illegalities and malpractices in carriage, distribution and in raising of false carriage bills for head load with regard to 24,800 MTs of Food grains (rice) under Special Component of Sampoorna 'Gramin Rojgar Yojna', during 2003-04, resulting in fraudulent realization of amount to the tune of Rs. 68,44,07,911.00 (Rs sixty eight crores forty four lakhs seven thousand nine hundred eleven)," the plea said.
The foodgrains were to be distributed among less than 2 lakh people spread across 13 districts, and the monthly allocation to ration card holders under public distribution system is around 8 to 10 Kg, the plea said.
The plea also alleged misuse and misappropriation of National Calamity Contingency Fund and Calamity Relief Fund to the tune of Rs 3.34 crore.
A bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had on January 29 agreed to examine a separate plea seeking a CBI or SIT probe into award of contracts for public works to firms owned by family members of Chief Minister Khandu.
It had issued notices to the Centre, the Arunachal Pradesh government and others on the PIL filed by NGOs Save Mon Region Federation and Voluntary Arunachal Sena.
Pema Khandu's father Dorjee Khandu's second wife Rinchin Drema and his nephew Tsering Tashi have been made parties in the case. Dorjee Khandu had died in a helicopter crash in 2011 when he was the chief minister.
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