Meghalaya High Court
Meghalaya High Court. Image credit - meghalayahighcourt.nic.in

The Meghalaya government was served with a notice for allegedly spending over Rs 22 lakh on a building which was supposed to be used as the Court of District & Sessions Judge.

The notice was issued by the Meghalaya High Court which took note of the news reports appeared in a section of the media.

In the news reports it was stated that a rented building was to be used as the Court of District & Sessions Judge at Khliehriat in East Jaiñtia Hills district, but the same was not utilized.

The alleged wastage of public money was revealed as per a reply given by the office of the deputy commissioner of East Jaiñtia Hills to information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.

The information was sought by a youth from Umkiang village – Kynjaimon Amse.

Based on news reports, a note was prepared by the Joint Registrar (Judicial) and registered as the Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

Also read: Meghalaya High Court issues notice to state govt, Centre

As per the agreement which came into effect from May 1, 2017, the monthly rent was Rs 80, 000.

The electricity bill should be paid separately by the Meghalaya government.

To ascertain if the money was spent for the purpose, Amse sought information under the RTI Act 2005 from the office of the deputy commissioner East Jaiñtia Hills district.

To his shock, Amse found that the rent amount payable to the building owner till date has reached Rs 21, 60, 000.

Out of the total payable amount, Rs 10, 40,000 has already been paid by the government to the building owner.

The electricity bill payable till date to the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) stands at Rs 62, 610 and the total amount for the building was Rs 22,22,610.

Amse said that the building was never used for any purpose by the Meghalaya government and there was no Court of District and Sessions Judge at Khliehriat.

Though the judiciary is yet to be separated in East Jaiñtia Hills district, Amse pointed out that that Rs 22, 22, 610 was spent in the name of the Court of District & Sessions Judge, Khliehriat.

Meanwhile the Meghalaya HC directed that the notice be issued to the state government and the same was accepted by the Advocate General, who prayed for time to file his response.

The court fixed August 27 as the next date for hearing.

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