Maharashtra orders ‘open inquiry’ by ACB into ‘irregularities’

The Maharashtra govt on Thursday ordered an open inquiry through the state Anti Corruption Bureau into alleged irregularities in Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan, a water conservation scheme.

As many as 931 works underneath the former Devendra Fadnavis govt’s flagship challenge shall be subjected to the open inquiry whilst 396 others will go through a departmental probe.

An “open” inquiry signifies that ACB — a wing of the Maharashtra Police — can summon other people for recording statements, name for wage and income-tax go back statements and search information about movable and immovable property. If it unearths sufficient proof, an FIR may also be registered underneath the Prevention of Corruption Act or the inquiry may also be closed if no proof of corruption is located.

Water Conservation Minister Shankarrao Gadakh mentioned, “The state government has accepted the recommendations of the Vijay Kumar committee recommending a probe into irregularities in Jalyukta Shivar works. The ACB will conduct open inquiry into 931 works.”

Fadnavis mentioned: “The decision to probe Jalyukta Shivar works is welcome. During my tenure, I had ordered investigation into 600 works. Let the facts come out.”

“These schemes were implemented and monitored by the district collector’s office. Seven departments are involved in the project. The average cost of each work is between Rs 1 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh,” he added.

The scheme used to be introduced through the Fadnavis govt in December 2014. The purpose used to be to make 25,000 Maharashtra villages freed from drought.

A supply within the govt mentioned: “Options were to either conduct a discreet probe or an open inquiry by the ACB or order an administrative departmental probe. After some deliberation, the government felt an open inquiry by ACB was the best option.”

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