Govt may hand over only 3 more cases to CBI

R Dutta Choudhury

GUWAHATI, Jan 14 – Though the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, had asserted that the State Government would entrust the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) with the responsibility of probing into all financial irregularities in North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, he is yet to keep his word and only three more specific cases are likely to be handed over to the agency soon.

A special audit of the accounts of the Autonomous Council by the office of the Accountant General (AG) unearthed glaring financial mismanagement and irregularities and the Chief Minister asserted that the Government would ask the CBI to probe all the irregularities pointed out by the AG. But that has not yet been done.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the State Government has issued a notification for handing over three more cases to the CBI. Sources said that the Central investigating agency would take over the cases only after a corresponding notification in this regard is issued by the Government of India.

The three specific cases sought to be handed over to the CBI are related to Social Welfare, Health and Rural Development departments of the Autonomous Council. Sources said that the case of the Rural Development Department is related to the implementation of the NREGA scheme in the hill district. The cases in this regard have already been registered by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Assam Police and after the Centre issues the notification, the same will be transferred to the CBI.

The Government had earlier handed over five specific cases of financial irregularities to the CBI and investigation into the cases is now on. A special team of the CBI is camping in Haflong for carrying out the investigation and scrutiny of the relevant documents required for the investigation of the cases is almost complete.

It may be mentioned here that during the process of the special audit, the office of the AG found glaring irregularities in implementation of different schemes by the Autonomous Council and even the role of the then Governor and the Hill Areas Development Department came under scrutiny.

In its report, the office of the AG also revealed that funds in excess of Budget provisions were sent to the NC Hills Council during the two-and-a-half-year period of the audit, while there was discrepancy in the release of funds as claimed by the Hill Areas Development Department and the receipts shown by the Council. In fact, the Council received much more funds than what was reported to have been sent to it by the State Government and the same was not ratified later.