NGO moves Supreme Court; seeks CBI probe into MGNREGA funds scam in Bihar

Report by Centre for Environment and Food Security says nearly Rs 6,000 crore meant to be paid to wage labourers siphoned off

By Alok Gupta
Published: Saturday 15 December 2012

A Delhi-based NGO has filed a petition in the Supreme Court, demanding a probe by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the embezzlement of Rs 6,000 crore in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme in Bihar.

The Centre for Environment and Food Security (CEFS) had earlier released a report, based on the sample survey in the state, claiming siphoning of funds meant to be paid to wage labourers in the employment scheme. The petition also charges 39 deputy district commissioners (DDC) in the state for filing misleading affidavits in the apex court, certifying that the MGNREGA guidelines in the state were being implemented in letter and spirit.

Parsuram Ray, director of CEFS, told Down To Earth that the court has set January 21 for next hearing. CEFS is claiming that 73 per cent of funds under the scheme have been siphoned off through various measures. “Government was reluctant to take any action on its officers,” Ray added.

The petitioner has also highlighted that a dubious inquiry has been ordered by the state into the scam. Officers involved in the scam have been ordered to probe the scam. “We fear that probe by tainted officers will only lead to covering up of the scam,” Ray said.

Earlier, during the winter session of the Bihar Assembly, the opposition had demanded a CBI probe into the MGNREGA scam. The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had refused a probe by CBI. CEFS has also filed petitions in other states for probing the employment guarantee scheme there.

The apex court is hearing similar petitions against the states of Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh.

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