Tura: In a first for the state, Meghalaya Lokayukta on May 18 has charge-sheeted as many as 10 MDCs of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council (GHADC), the former secretary of the Council as well as a few contractors for their involvement in corruption.

The Court has also recommended that a special Court be set up in the town of Tura so that action can be taken against those named in the chargesheet.

The Lokayukta provided the hearing following a case filed by social activist Nilbath Ch Marak of Williamnagar. Nilberth had filed a case with the Lokayukta in 2019 against the then MDC of Asanang, Ismail Marak and contractors Nikseng Sangma and Kubon Sangma for withdrawing funds from the Council without work being done on the ground.

The chargesheet of the Lokayukta named former CEM Boston Marak, Mark Goera Marak, Rightious Sangma, Jimbirth Sangma, Levastone Sangma, Winnison Ch Marak, Rupert Sangma, Kenedick S Marak, Dhormonath Sangma along with Ismail and the then secretary to the GHADC, Hewingson Sangma and called them out for indulging in corruption.

The chargesheet was made by the chairperson of the Lokayukta, Bhalang Dhar, on an investigation undertaken by the investigating officer of Tura PS, Walsall M Momin.

After the Lokayukta found prima facie evidence of corruption, an order asking for a CBI inquiry was taken out before being challenged in the Meghalaya High Court through a writ petition. The Court then sent the case back to the Lokayukta.

The case was investigated for close to a year by the police before an investigation report was filed before the Court.

Following the findings of the investigation, which included the misappropriation of another Rs 28 crore of central funds in which the other MDCs were involved, the Court through its order on May 18, sought a special Court for prosecution.

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In its order, the Court stated, “The director of prosecution will submit the case records to the Public Prosecutor of WGH to initiate prosecution in a special Court of Tura. The exhibit seized shall be handed over to the prosecuting inspector of Tura Court for safe custody.”

The Court further asked that the PI maintain as subsidiary malkhana register for exhibits seized in connection with the cases filed by the Lokayukta.

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