NGO cries foul over probe
THE HOUSING and Environment Department has initiated an enquiry into alleged financial irregularities by voluntary organisation ‘Prayatna’.
The NGO, on the other hand, has alleged that the enquiry is aimed at scuttling its Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging appointment of the member-secretary in the MP Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) who is one of the enquiry officers.
Housing and Environment Department Under Secretary C B Padwar, who ordered the enquiry, told the Hindustan Times that the probe was initiated following a written complaint by MLA Naresh Diwakar on December 27 last year.
He said that reports from the three organisations – MPPCB, EPCO and MP Lakes Conservation Authority — have been received and are being examined..
According to Prayatna secretary Ajay Dubey, the PIL was filed in the Jabalpur High Court on December 16 and the enquiry was ordered on December 28, a day after media reported about filing of the PIL.
This, he added, raises suspicion that the enquiry was aimed at deterring the litigant from going ahead with the PIL. Interestingly, in its reply filed on February 28, the State Government sought dismissal of the PIL,
saying this was an attempt by the litigant to interfere with the enquiry. The Government also claimed that there was no public interest involved in the PIL.
However, Dubey maintained that the very fact that the enquiry was ordered more than two weeks after the PIL was filed falsified the Government’s claim.
Dubey further said that the organisation since its inception six years ago had received a grant of only Rs 32,500 from the MPPCB and its surprising that it had been charged with big financial irregularities.