Misappropriation et al: Nagaland Govt recovers mere 1.77% of Rs 178 Cr

Misappropriation et al: Nagaland Govt recovers mere 1.77% of Rs 178 Cr

Misappropriation et al: Nagaland Govt recovers mere 1.77% of Rs 178 Cr

Nagaland Lokayukta offers some hope 


Morung Express News 
Dimapur | February 23 

As of March 31, 2018, there were 29 cases of theft, misappropriation, loss of government material and defalcation in 13 departments in Nagaland involving money amounting to Rs 178.96 crore.

Out of this, the government so far has been able to recover just Rs 3.16 crore or 1.77%, of the total money involved, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India’s  (CAG) ‘State Finances Audit Report’ of the Government of Nagaland for the Year Ended March 31,2018. 

Citing the erstwhile, State’s Vigilance & Anti-Corruption department, the report informed that the age-profile of most of the cases were 0-5 years, while two cases were pending for 5-10 years.  

Out of the cases, 26 were designated under ‘Misappropriation or Loss of Government Material’ involving Rs 170.94 crore. 

There were two cases under ‘defalcation’ described by CAG as ‘misappropriation of funds by a person trusted with its charge’ involving Rs 12.79 crore. 

One case was relegated to theft involving Rs 0.82 lakh. 

One of the most common reasons behind for the Delay or Outstanding Pending Cases was ‘Awaiting departmental and criminal investigation’; 24 cases involving Rs 160.89 crore were under this category, the report said.  

There were four cases of ‘Departmental action initiated but not finalized’ (Rs 5.28 crore) while a case was ‘Pending in the Court of Law’ involving Rs 12.79 crore.  Out of this, Rs 40.78 lakh was recovered. 

According to the report, the highest amount of misappropriation, loss and theft etc amounting to Rs 82.96 crore was in the Department of School Education. (See table for details)

Next in the line was the Power department, were there was one case involving Rs 25.48 crore. No recovery has been made so far. 

The third highest was in Health & Family Welfare department involving Rs 16.36 crore, out of which Rs 22.55 lakh has been recovered, the CAG report added.  Out of Rs 4.77 crore, Rs 2.53 crore was also recovered from various departments, the report noted. 

According to CAG, the State Government in December 2018 has accepted the facts pointed out by Audit and assured that it would “expedite the process of finalization of the pending cases.” In its recommendation, the CAG maintained that the Government should lodge First Information Report in all the cases.

“It may be ensured that timely action is taken in all such cases which may act as a deterrent in recurrence of such cases in future,” it added.


Enters Nagaland Lokayukta

It may be mentioned here that with the implementation of Nagaland Lokayukta Act, the state Vigilance Commission “stand repealed from the date of appointment of the Lokayukta” and all the pending matters before Nagaland Vigilance “shall stand transferred to and continued by the Lokayukta.”

According to First Annual Report (2019-2020) of Nagaland Lokayukta, a total of 78 cases were brought forward from the erstwhile State Vigilance Commission. Out of this, 38 is under Preliminary Enquiry (PE), while the rest (40) have been registered as ‘Regular Cases.’  

The Status of RC said that out of 40 cases, two cases are closed with relevant penalties. A prosecution sanctioned was sought from the concerned authority in one case while recommendations were made to the concerned department in three other cases. The rest are under investigation. 

Out of 38 cases under PE, 12 cases have been already disposed off, including one case flagged by CAG in regarding misappropriation of MGNREGS fund during 2013-14. Many cases under investigation are based on CAG Reports over the years. 

Consequently, these actions may be reflected in future CAG reports.