SHILLONG: The Meghalaya high court has directed the state government to book the culprits involved in the police “vehicles scam”.
The Meghalaya high court gave this direction while hearing a plea on the matter.
“It is hoped that the entire matter is monitored at the highest level to ensure that defalcated public funds are recovered and the culprit or culprits are brought to book,” the Meghalaya high court stated.
This development came on the day assistant inspector general (AIG) of Meghalaya police – Gabriel K Iangrai was arrested.
The Meghalaya government has informed the high court that appropriate steps would be taken to ensure that the assets of AIG Gabriel K Iangrai are frozen since the extent of defalcation has been, prima facie, pegged at over Rs 3 crore.
“The State submits that appropriate steps would be taken to ensure that the assets of the delinquent are frozen since the extent of defalcation has been, prima facie, pegged at over Rs 3 crore,” Meghalaya high court stated.
Meghalaya AIG Gabriel K Iangrai was arrested by the police from his residence on Wednesday.
Iangrai was arrested in connection with the alleged Meghalaya police vehicles scam.
A high-level internal inquiry reportedly exposed a ‘scam’ within the Meghalaya police department in relation to procurement of vehicles.
Discrepancies were also reportedly noticed while issuing fuel coupons.
The ‘scam’ was reportedly exposed following an internal inquiry headed by Meghalaya additional inspector general of police (IGP) – Mukesh Kumar Singh.
The inquiry team reportedly investigated the alleged irregularities and mismanagement in the procurement of vehicles and use of fuel coupons.
In its report by the inquiry team, has reportedly stated that there have been unofficial procurement, non-registration of 29 vehicles, discrepancies in documents, questionable allotment and purchase of cheaper models against the sanction of expensive variants by the assistant inspector general (AIG) of Meghalaya police – Gabriel K Iangrai, a Meghalaya Police Service (MPS) officer.
The report also reportedly revealed that the delivery of most of the vehicles procured by Meghalaya police headquarters under various heads were personally managed by the AIGP through various people attached to him.
Moreover, the vehicles were in the personal custody of Meghalaya AIGP Iangrai, the fuel coupons were issued by him directly without any sanction from a competent authority, the report revealed.
“These vehicles were then taken directly on his orders to either Police Officer Mess or MPRO complex where they were kept and the keys of all these vehicles were kept in his official residence. Their Statement also reveals a lot of crucial facts which point at glaring mismanagement and misuse of power by AIGP (A),” the report reportedly read.
The inquiry report also alleged that the vehicles, which were not registered were often used by Meghalaya AIGP Iangrai for personal use without any sanction from police headquarters.
“No log books were ever maintained for these vehicles even though POL/DOL coupons were issued by AIG A himself on a regular basis,” the report said, adding that “misappropriation of government funds cannot be ruled out”.
“It is also clear that government vehicles meant for government duties were being misused for personal matters,” the report stated.
The 29 vehicles that were in the personal custody of Iangrai before April 2022 without any orders from the competent authority include four Mahindra Scorpios, seven Mahindra Boleros, one Mahindra Bolero Camper, one Mahindra KUV 100, two Mahindra Thars, two Maruti Eeco cars, five Bajaj Pulsar 150 cc, two Yamaha Scooties (125 cc), five TVS bikes (110cc).
Moreover, the inquiry team also reportedly found that the accused Meghalaya AIGP has been holding on to one truck from the 4th MLP Battalion, which on paper has been shown as attached to police headquarters.
“During inquiry, the driver of this truck said it has been continuously used for the past one year for the personal work of Iangrai. This truck was used to ferry construction material to his new residential site. No log book was maintained for this vehicle and the fuel coupon for all the transportation of personal goods was issued by him,” the report read.
“An audit was conducted on the inventory of Central Motor Workshop where it was found that a lot of manipulations have taken place for the personal whims and fancies of one officer even when senior police officers in Police Headquarters and other units were suffering for not having better vehicles,” the report further read.