Panel probing MeECL graft misses deadline

SHILLONG, Oct 27: The independent committee probing the alleged corruption in the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) is set to miss the deadline for submitting its report.
The Meghalaya government had on July 29 notified the constitution of this committee. The panel, given a three-month window to submit its report, is yet to receive the necessary papers from the MeECL.
Sources said the committee issued a public notice asking the people to come up with evidence and documents substantiating the allegations. The committee received an affidavit from a local resident, it was learnt.
The committee met in New Delhi recently and sought necessary documents from MeECL within a week’s time. The latter is likely to comply within a few days.
All the meetings of the committee, which consumed a fair amount of time to be formed, have been held in New Delhi.
There were several reasons why the formation of the committee got delayed. First, the government took more than a month to name Justice Ifaqat Ali Khan, a retired judge of Allahabad High Court as the head of the panel. Then, the government had to reconstitute it as he opted out after meeting with an accident.
The government subsequently appointed retired Justice R.N. Mishra of the same court to head the probe. The other members of the panel are retired IAS officer Manoj Kumar (administrative member) and retired Executive Director of REC Ltd Sunil Kumar (technical member).
The members of the committee also had to wait for some time for the government to first fix their remuneration. Their remuneration has been finalised now.
The committee has been tasked with probing records and making recommendations on the functioning of MeECL and its three subsidiary companies – Meghalaya Power Generation Corporation Ltd, Meghalaya Power Transmission Corporation Ltd and Meghalaya Power Distribution Corporation Ltd.
The probe covers the period from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2021.
The committee was mandated to critically examine the procurement rules and procedures of MeECL and its subsidiaries and benchmark the same against the procurement rules and procedures of the Meghalaya government and some of the better-run energy corporations in other states of the Northeast.

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