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HC upbraids govt for inaction over flood relief graft

The court directed that a report be placed before it by 8 September about the FIR lodged against the persons who had ordered that flood relief funds are given without consulting the BDO’s list and others involved in this matter.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

A Division Bench headed by acting Chief Justice, Calcutta High Court, Rajesh Bindal today reprimanded the state government for its alleged inaction against the perpetrators who defalcated flood relief funds at Harishchandrapur, Malda two years ago.

The court directed that apart from lodging an FIR against the Pradhan of Malda’s Harishchandrapur block I of Baroi gram panchayat, similar steps have to be taken against all those involved in the conspiracy of defalcation of flood relief funds.

A six-member committee had been formed to make a list of the recipients of compensation for flood damages. As soon as such a list had been drawn up in 2019, the panchayat pradhan drew up another list of flood victims overnight. In his statement, the block development officer (BDO) said that he had been ordered to distribute the flood relief compensation according to pradhan’s list.

The court directed that a report be placed before it by 8 September about the FIR lodged against the persons who had ordered that flood relief funds are given without consulting the BDO’s list and others involved in this matter. Earlier, the court observed that nothing has been done after the case has been filed except registering complaints.

The observation came after the state counsel submitted that an FIR has been lodged against Pradhan last month and he has been shown cause. During the hearing of the case, the petitioner’s counsel Srijib Chakraborty placing documents submitted that funds had been deposited in the accounts of some of the depositors multiple times.

A large portion of Rs 10 crores of flood relief allocated for this block had been defalcated if the probe report of the auditor general in this matter is anything to go by