Meghalaya High Court rules out Jowai MLA’s involvement in delaying scheme to beneficiaries

(File Photo)

Shillong, Feb 20: The Meghalaya High Court has directed the block development officer (BDO) of Thadlaskein Block in West Jaintia Hills District to release the scheme sanctioned under Special Rural Works Programme (SRWP) to the beneficiaries and ruled out the involvement of deputy chief minister and sitting Jowai MLA , R.C. Laloo in the delay to release the scheme to the beneficiaries.

“The BDO concerned is directed to make payment to the petitionners as per rule,” Justice SR Sen said in his order issued on February 19, while disposing of a writ petition filed by four aggrieved beneficiaries from Mihmyntdu village falling under the Jowai constituency.

On December 3, 2012, the sitting MLA had proposed and submitted the list of 300 beneficiaries at Rs 10,000 each for renovation of house/agricultural field and providing additional funds for different economic activities for the poorer section of the constituency.

The names of the 300 beneficiaries were also approved by the approving authority.

However, the BDO of Thadlaskein Block had till date did not pay the said amount to the beneficiaries despite repeated requests made.

In their petition filed in 2016, Martha Phawa, Angela Phawa, Tam Khyllaw and Kwill Phawa alleged that the action of the BDO was illegal and unconstitutional that leads to violation of their fundamental rights.

During the hearing, the state counsel for the respondents stated that the payment could not be made to the petitioners because they did not turn up to collect the money.

However, the Court said that the fact remains that the petitioners have applied for the welfare scheme after which they were selected and their names had even appeared in the list of beneficiaries.

“In my view, I do not see why they should not be given that benefit even if they do not collect the money on time,” Justice Sen stated in his order.

Earlier, senior counsel for the sitting MLA had fairly and straightforwardly submits that Laloo has nothing to do with this case and was unnecessarily made a party.

“I agree that the respondent no 5 (Laloo) has nothing to do with the issue involved in this case,” Justice Sen said.

Hailing the order passed by the Court, Meghalaya People’s United Front (MPUF) president D Wanmi Laloo said that they would immediately take up the matter with the BDO to ensure that the welfare scheme is released to all the beneficiaries.

“If the BDO fails to comply with the court’s direction, we would be compelled to file a contempt petition against the official,” Wanmi said.


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