The Jharkhand High Court on Friday said it suspected scams in the appointment and re-appointment of hundreds of consultants, hired to prepare detailed project reports (DPR) for government projects, causing huge losses to the state exchequer.
The court pulled up the government for rejecting the proposal to make mandatory provision for litigants to affix a Rs 5 stamp on each and every petition so that money generated from the sale of stamps could be utilised for the welfare of advocates’ clerk. The court was hearing a case aimed at framing a welfare policy for these clerks.
The court raised its hackles after it came to know that the chief secretary had rejected the proposal saying that there was no need to put extra burden on people for the welfare of these clerks.
“The government feels burden for bearing an expense of Rs 5, whereas it recklessly made huge payments to a number of consultants for preparing DPRs for its projects without any real benefit. Many DPRs were rejected and new consultants were appointed for preparing fresh DPRs for the same project. Money running in crores were misutilised,” a division bench of chief justice PK Mohanty and justice Ananda Sen observed.
“The state may be in for a big scam, which is taking shape under the garb of developmental initiatives,” the chief justice said, adding that he had hint of such scam from his own sources.
Law department’s secretary, who appeared in person before the court, informed that a bill for the welfare schemes of advocates’ clerk was being prepared and the same would be placed before the cabinet in the next meeting.
The matter relates to a PIL filed by Advocates’ Clerk Association seeking the court’s directive to the government to frame policy for the welfare of advocates’ clerk’s fraternity. The court had earlier asked the law secretary to formulate such a scheme.