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Calcutta HC forms committee to identify fake job cards under MGNREGA in Bengal

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the formation of a three-member committee for identification of fake job cards in West Bengal in the 100-day job scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

Kolkata, Jan 18,2024:  A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the formation of a three-member committee for identification of fake job cards in West Bengal in the 100-day job scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

As per the directive of the division bench of Chief Justice Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya, the three-member committee will have one representative each from the Union government, West Bengal government, and the office of the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.

As per the directive, the committee will prepare a district-wise report and for that the committee members should make extensive visits to each sub-division in each district, do checking of the enlisted job cards.

Two separate PILs had been filed at the Calcutta High Court relating to irregularities in West Bengal in the 100-day job scheme under the MGNREGA. While one PIL has been filed by the Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly Suvendu Adhikari, the other has been filed by West Bengal Khet Mazdoor Samiti, an association of agricultural workers.

On Thursday, there was a parallel hearing on the PIL at the division bench of the chief justice, following which the court ordered for formation of the three-member committee.

The division bench observed that the court wants to know the present situation since irrespective of whether there had been corruption or not in implementation of the scheme, the genuine beneficiaries should never be deprived. “Someone will have to take the responsibility,” the chief justice observed.

The Union and West Bengal governments’ have been at loggerheads for quite some time over the 100-day job scheme under the MGNREGA.

While the state government has accused the Union government of unnecessarily holding back the central dues to the state government under the scheme, the Centre has accused the state government of massive irregularities in implementation of the scheme.

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