Retired HC Judge M G Gaikwad will look into the alleged financial irregularities during the period 2004-05 to 2008-09
The court order is considered in legal circles as a heavy blow to Vijaykumar Gavit, the then Minister for Tribal Welfare
Mumbai : The Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered an inquiry by a retired High Court Judge M G Gaikwad into the alleged financial irregularities in tribal welfare schemes in Maharashtra during the period 2004-05 to 2008-09. The order was passed on a PIL filed by a tribal, Bahiram Motiram, from Nashik district demanding probe into the alleged Rs 6,000 crore scam with regard to tribal schemes.
A bench headed by Justice V M Kanade asked the State government to come out with a G R on April 1, appointing Gaikwad as the Chairman of the five-member committee to probe the allegations. The Court also ordered that the enquiry shall commence immediately after the G.R is notified.
On a plea made by petitioner’s lawyers, Rajendra Raghuvanshi and Rutuja Ambekar, the bench further directed that Justice (retd) Gaikwad heading the inquiry would recommend action to be taken against the concerned persons responsible for the scam.
All the recommendations would be submitted to the High Court, the judges ruled and kept the PIL pending until then.
The Court noted that the Chairman of the committee would decide on the procedure for holding the inquiry.
The Court order is considered in legal circles as a heavy blow to Vijaykumar Gavit, the then Minister for Tribal Welfare.
The government today submitted a draft of G.R which it proposed to notify to appoint the inquiry committee. The bench went through the proposed G.R and approved it.
The other members of the inquiry committee are Bipin Shrimali, Managing Director, Maharashtra State Electricity Commission Co Ltd, Dhananjay Kamlakar, Special Inspector General of Police, Nashik, Sunil Bhosale, Joint Director (Finance), Maharashtra State Aids Control Society, and Sanjeev Kumar, Tribal Development Commissioner.
The Government would also appoint a retired Judicial Magistrate First Class or a retired Civil Judge or a retired Joint/Deputy Secretary to assist the committee. However, such a person would not be part of the inquiry Committee.
The court had earlier ordered a CBI probe into the allegations. Simultaneously, the court also asked the State to conduct an independent inquiry into the alleged irregularities in tribal welfare schemes of the State.
While the CBI probe is still on, the inquiry committee of the state is yet to be constituted and for which the State has been asked to issue a G.R on April 1.
The petitioner alleged that the tribal welfare department made purchases towards curbing malnutrition, distribution of cows and buffaloes, supply of diesel engine and pipes, without calling for tenders and the amounts shown as disbursed towards tribal welfare were siphoned off.
The PIL alleged that in March 2006, the department procured liquid protein without following the due procedure or floating tenders.
Also, the liquid protein bottles were not distributed, though the amount was disbursed. PTI
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