Iangrai remanded in 7-day police custody, suspended

SHILLONG, Nov 5: A court here on Saturday remanded arrested police officer GK Iangrai to seven days’ police custody.
He was produced before the Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class, DG Kharshiing, after he was discharged from the Shillong Civil Hospital where he was admitted following his arrest.
During the hearing, the Special Investigation Team had sought seven days’ police custody and the court granted it despite opposition from Iangrai’s legal counsel Phuyo Yobin.
Later, Yobin told reporters the next hearing would take place on November 12. The court directed the Investigating Officer to ensure the safety of Iangrai vis-à-vis his health and medication. It also ordered his medical check-up after every 48 hours.
Yobin had sought the judicial custody of Iangrai given his health. He argued that the police officer could also be interrogated in judicial custody but the court declined the plea, stating that this is a period of investigation.
“Let the investigation be carried out properly. On November 14, we may move for his bail application,” Yobin told reporters.
Iangrai was brought to the court at around 5:15 pm under tight security arrangements. He walked out an hour later. A couple of his relatives were present on the court premises.
He briefly spoke to reporters. He said his trial has begun and requested the media not to conduct its own trial.
“I have just been saved by the grace of God from vultures and crows which were a threat to my life,” Iangrai said.
He was arrested on Wednesday based on an FIR lodged against him following an exposé of financial scandals in the construction of National Emergency Response System (NERS) Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) at the Shillong Sadar Police Station.
Earlier, the police had raided some of his properties and recovered several incriminating documents.
Iangrai, who was the Commandant of the elite Special Forces-10, has been suspended from service after he was arrest in connection with the construction of buildings allotted to the Police department.
Informing this on Saturday, Home Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said, “A case had been registered and the accused was arrested. The law will take its own course and all legal procedure will be followed”.
Iangrai was arrested based on an FIR lodged against him following an exposé of financial scandals in the construction of National Emergency Response System (NERS) Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) at the Shillong Sadar Police Station.
The Home Ministry had released Rs 95.78 lakh for the NERS PSAP project, taken up by the Police department as per a provision of Appendix 9 of the Meghalaya Financial Rules, 1981, that allows departments, other than PWD and Forest, to execute the work under the supervision of the respective departmental engineer.
The work was executed by Iangrai, the then Assistant Inspector-General of Police (Administration), who submitted “fake” utilisation certificates of Rs 95.78 lakh in addition to a completion certificate. There was no estimate or DPR. Only an estimate for the renovation of Sadar Traffic Branch for Rs 3 lakh was found in the file by the inquiry team.
There was an estimate for electrification of Rs 3,37,470 and the approximate cost of materials was only Rs 1,85,608. The approximate cost of construction materials was Rs 28,16,066, which took the total cost of the NERS building and renovation of Sadar Traffic Branch to Rs 33,01,674.
The investigators found that Iangrai not only submitted a falsified utilisation certificate to the government but after audit objections to the utilisation of Rs 95.78 lakh, he refunded Rs 26,85,389 to the Official AIG (A) account on September 19 this year.
The fact that a false utilisation certificate was submitted and after audit, objections, the money, already drawn by Iangrai and which was in his personal custody, was returned, amounts to misappropriation of funds, the inquiry report had stated.
“The total expenditure for the construction of NERS PSAP building is estimated at Rs 33,01,674 when done on a self-help basis. Since the total sanction for NERS PSAP was Rs 68,37,440 (Rs 3 lakh for civil work, Rs 62 lakh for tubular structure and Rs 3,37,440 for electrification), the balance amount left should be Rs 35,35,793. Even after returning Rs 26,85,389, there is a balance amount of Rs 8,50,404 which is still in the personal custody of Iangrai and which again amounts to gross misappropriation of government funds,” the report had added.

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