Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Probe into rice ‘scam’ finds no wrong

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SHILLONG, June 7: Social Welfare Minister Paul Lyngdoh on Wednesday said the one-man commission of inquiry probing the alleged rice scam has ruled out any misdeed.
He told reporters here on Wednesday that there is not an iota of truth in any of the allegations and that the advocate general (AG) made a pointed observation that the allegations have no legs to stand on.
Lyngdoh said the views of the Law Department were obtained and the AG observed that the actual incident and the case were delayed because of the lack of coordination with the police in Assam where the scam was supposed to have taken place.
“It was further observed that in future, there should be a definite timeline for inquiries so that the parties alleged to have committed such a scam and the department concerned are not dragged into needless controversy,” he said.
When asked how 1 lakh rice bags landed in the Assam storehouse, he said according to the file noting, it was a matter of location not properly recorded. The case was thus handed over to the Assam police.
“On further inquiry and based on its report, the file went through the Law Department and the AG and they were very clear that no such scam had taken place,” Lyngdoh said.
The state government had on July 29, 2021, ordered a probe into the alleged scam “unearthed” almost two months earlier when the Assam police seized 1 lakh bags of rice each weighing 50 kg from a private storehouse in Boko.
It was believed the rice bags provided by the Centre at subsidised rates landed up at the private storehouse for the purpose of repackaging and sale to third parties.
The inquiry committee under Justice Mool Chand Garg, who retired from the Madhya Pradesh High Court, was asked to probe the matter of rice allotted to Milkose (India) Limited for the supplementary nutrition programme.

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