Kolkata, Jan 24 (SocialNews.XYZ) A division bench of the Calcutta High Court has directed that West Bengal Finance Secretary Manoj Pant be made a party in a PIL filed alleging massive irregularities in utilisation of funds under centrally-sponsored schemes by certain state government departments.
During a hearing on the PIL filed by BJP state General Secretary Jagannath Chattopadhyay on Tuesday, the bench of Calcutta High Court's Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava and Justice Rajarshi Bharadwaj ruled that that Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, whose report is the basis of this PIL, also be made a party in the matter.
In the PIL, the petitioner informed that as per the report of CAD as on March 31, 2021, there were severe irregularities in the accounts pertaining to the central funds provided to the West Bengal government under various centrally-sponsored schemes.
According to the petitioner, the total quantum of funds misutilisation is to the tune of Rs 2.29 lakh crore, as there is no proper utilisation certificate of such a huge expenditure.
In the PIL, the petitioner has also claimed that since there was massive misutilisation of public money of such a huge amount, there should be a central agency probe in the matter.
He has maintained that the fund misutilisation had been maximum mainly in case of three state government departments namely the Panchayat Affairs and Rural Development Department; Municipal Affairs and Urban Development Department; and the Education Department.
According to him, the misutilisation had been maximum in case of the Panchayat Affairs and Rural Development Department at around Rs 82,000 crore, followed by the Education Department at around Rs 36,000 crore and the Panchayat Affairs and Rural Development Department around Rs 30,000 crore.
While there are reports of central fund misutilisation in case of other state government departments as well, the maximum on this count has been recorded in case of these three departments.
The division bench has fixed the next date of hearing to January 30.