HC seeks response on plea alleging interference by PDP block president in MNREGA works

Srinagar : 07 Jul 2018

The state high court today sought response from Commissioner Secretary Rural Development Department, Director Rural Development Department, Assistant Commissioner Development Anantnag, Block Development Officer Srigufwara and Block President PDP Bijbehara regarding alleged unnecessary interference by Block President of ruling PDP in development works under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) in Anantnag district of the state.

The Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice D S Thakur directed the State Counsel to file the response within a period of four weeks.

Petitioner prayed that officials be refrained from acting according to the dictation of the Block President.

The petition has been filed by one Farooq Ahmad Rather, contending that the respondents are having large budgetary allocation under (MNREGA) for development of the Rural Areas and for providing guaranteed Job to the Rural Population. The MNREGA which is a central legislation provides a scheme for distribution of the funds and process of expenditure in detail at the Panchayat Halqa Level.

After the allocation of funds to the Panchayat Halqa, Gram Sabha which is meeting of the entire population of a Panchayat Halqa on spot is held to finalize the list of developmental works to be undertaken in a particular financial year.

“After allocation of the funds to the petitioners village for the financial year 2017-18 under the MNREGA the respondents called a meeting of Gram Sabha in the village wherein the list of development works was finalized and near about 100 developmental works were identified and list was prepared with respect to the Rural connectivity and micro-irrigation in the village with the consensus that the works will be taken in the order of priorities to be decided subsequently in Gram Sabha,” he said, adding,

“That the respondent No. 5 who is Block President of the Peoples Democratic without any authority and competence is interfering in the implementation of the MNREGA plan 2017-18 in the village by firstly dictating the prioritization of development works and by employing the agents of his political party as brokers, contractors, commission agents in the development works which is totally prohibited under the MNREGA.”

The block president and his ‘Henchmen’ are working as middle men and earning large amounts as commission in the process of implementation of the MNREGA plan, the petitioner said.