An FIR was filed on Thursday against former NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela by the Assam Public Works (APW) with the CBI’s Anti-Corruption branch, alleging huge misappropriation of government funds in updating the NRC in the state. APW, the original petitioner in the Supreme Court leading to the updation of the NRC in Assam under the supervision of the apex court, filed the FIR requesting for a high level probe into the alleged corruption/misappropriation of government funds by the former NRC state-coordinator and his close aides.
The case registered by APW member Rajib Deka said that the central government was funding the NRC updation process through the state coordinator. "As per information, an amount of approximately Rs 1600 crore has already been released and we request you to inquire into the whole process of utilisation of the funds as several illegalities and financial irregularities has been committed in making different expenditures," the complainant said.
The FIR, a copy of which was made available to the media, claimed that Hajela had appointed several retired government officials as his advisors and they were provided with new vehicles and a handsome salary package. There is no record of the nature of job done by the advisors and this expenditure has not been audited by the CAG, it said.
The FIR further alleged that a large number of school teachers were engaged in the updation process but no remuneration was paid to them but it has been shown on records that they have been paid huge amounts "which we believe has been misappropriated by Hajela and his close aides".
It further alleged that for updation of the NRC about ten thousand laptops were purchased at the cost of Rs 44,500 each but on survey, it has been found that its market value is Rs 22,500 a piece and "this is another instance of corruption in the NRC updation process".
About eleven thousand Electric Generators were purchased by Hajela at double its market price, Deka alleged in the FIR. The FIR further alleged that it is a well-known fact that the former NRC coordinator did not allow the statutory audit of the NRC as he had committed huge financial irregularities and if inquired properly, the truth will come out.
"The above instances clearly indicate that huge corruption has taken place in the NRC updation process with Hajela and his close aides playing an active role in it", Deka alleged.
Under the circumstances, it is therefore, requested that an investigation may be carrief out to bring out the truth and doing the needful as per the law, the FIR stated.
The final National Register of Citizens was published on August 31 last, under which names of more than 19 lakh people have been left out. The supreme court had ordered Hajela’s transfer from Assam to his home state Madhya Pradesh and he was released from the charge of NRC state coordinator on November 12 last.