Rautahat, September 18
It is learnt that local representatives in Rautahat’s Madhav Narayan Municipality misappropriated social security allowance to the tune of one million rupees in the last fiscal.
Chair of Ward No 6, Madhav Narayan Municipality, Rajiv Kumar Yadav and Secretary Manoj Jha are learnt to have pocketed a huge amount by releasing social security allowance in the name of 40 persons who were dead.
There are receipts at the ward office which corroborates the payments in the name of dead persons. Similarly, the duo is also learnt to have misappropriated allowances of more than 30 other persons by getting their names registered twice in the list of beneficiaries.
A case in point, official records speak of a woman who had died about 40 years ago being obliged with the allowance. Basamatiyadevi Koirini had died way back in the 80s. “It’s surprising to hear that Basamatiyadevi, who had died before I was born, was getting allowance,” said Hari Narayan Yadav, a local.
Similarly, it has been around five years since Panchalal Sah Teli died, but as per the official record, he is still receiving social security allowance. “My father died long ago, but what surprises me is that the ward chairperson and the secretary manage to continuously draw the allowance in his name for all these years,” Upendra Sah, who showed the death certificate of his father, sought investigation into the fraud and punishment for the guilty.
Ward chair Yadav, however, claimed that they had distributed the allowance on the basis of data provided by the municipal office. “The inventory of persons receiving the allowance was made well before I took charge of the ward, so it doesn’t add up that I’m to blame for distribution of allowance on the basis of the list,” he argued.
Madhav Narayan Municipality Mayor Birendra Yadav, on his part, revealed that there had been an investigation into suspected misappropriation of social security allowance from the higher-up and some lapses were found.
“As the issue is a serious one, we’re also thinking of investigating it on our own and to make the persons concerned reimburse the amount if need be,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, it is also learnt that the central registration department, following its investigation, had written to the persons concerned to reimburse the misappropriated amount of somewhere near 977,600 rupees in the last fiscal itself. The department is also said to have written to the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority to further investigate the misappropriation.
A version of this article appears in print on September 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.