LE Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 6, 2021: A case of a fake gram panchayat has come to the notice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court through a writ petition.

The petitioners have claimed that a fake Gram Panchayat by the name of  Village Divya Gram has been created in order to siphon off funds granted by the 14th Finance Commission, the Local Area Development Fund and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) Scheme funds. The Panchayat also receives grant from the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board.

According to the petition, the said gram panchayat is stated to be in the district of Jalandhar but there is no village of that name registered in the revenue records of Jalandhar district.

The petitioners claimed that they got information under RTI from the electricity department which claimed that there is no electricity connection in the said gram panchayat. Further, Naib Tehsildar in the RTI reply stated that there is no land record in the gram panchayat in question.

The petitioner also claimed that they also filed RTI with the Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) office to get information on how many MGNREGA workers are registered from the said gram panchayat but the reply was nil.

The State counsel submitted before the court that an inquiry into the matter is being held which is likely to be concluded in the near future. He prayed for a short accommodation to place on record a copy of the report, which is likely to be received, noted the bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal.

“P.S.Bajwa, Addl. AG, Punjab, has been impressed upon to get the inquiry concluded well before the next date of hearing and place its report on the file of the Court in next date of hearing on September 7,” stated the Bench.

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