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CAG shall probe Amphan funds : HC

by Kolkata Today

West Bengal government today suffered a set back as the Kolkata High Court once again rejected its appeal and allowed the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) of India to probe the distribution and utilization of Amphan cyclone disaster funds and materials sanctioned to the state government by the Union government.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice T B N Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee of Kolkata High Court today ruled that West Bengal government will have to co-operate with CAG by timely providing documents needed for the investigation. The state cannot seek more time to furnish the documents, said Kolkata High Court. The Court today withdrew the 3 months time limit given in its earlier order to submit the report and said it has to be submitted within an acceptable time.

It is alleged that the West Bengal government had indulged in nepotism, pilferage, favouritism and corrupt practices in distribution of Amphan relief materials and funds. The state had alleged that CAG was pressuring its officers to disclose Amphan  relief documents.

On 1st December, High Court had allowed auditing of Amphan relief funds and materials. In August 2020, on behalf of two farmers organisation of South Bengal one Advocate Shamim Ahmed had filed 5 cases of corruption charges in Kolkata High Court. Disastrous cyclone Amphan hit South Bengal on 20 May killing nearly 100 people and damaging million houses and thousands of hectares of agriculture land. The state government had demanded a relief of Rs 6250 crore. The Centre announced a relief of Rs 1500 crore, after assessing the extent of disaster.

Earlier also, the Kolkata High Court had rejected the state government’s petition against its order of CAG audit of Amphan funds and materials on 1st December. On the matter  state government had also filed a caveat in Supreme Court.

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