CBI asked to probe Nagaland High Court construction scam
The Gauhati High Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe an alleged scam in the construction of the Nagaland High Court building in Kohima since 2007 and submit a report within three months. The basic structure of the site is yet to be completed, but the Nagaland government allegedly withdrew ₹44.24 crore against electrification and water supply for the project site besides another ₹22.42 crore for construction of bungalows for the judges, area for which has not been earmarked.“Beyond belief” The Nagaland government also paid ₹1.3 crore as consultancy fee for the construction, which the Gauhati HC termed as “beyond belief” while hearing a set of petitions by the Nagaland Tribes Council and some Nagaland-based social and RTI activists.Hearing the petition on Wednesday, the Gauhati HC asked the CBI to conduct a preliminary investigation into charges of misappropriation of public money in the construction of the Nagaland HC complex. According to the petitioners, only 35% of the work has been completed in 11 years since construction began with an estimated budget of ₹43 crore. Work on the HC complexes in Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura had started around the same time.Between March 2009 and March 2017, Nagaland’s Justice and Law Department made 18 withdrawals from the State exchequer while the project cost was increased to ₹52.63 crore. The department also took a loan of ₹12.46 crore from the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Limited (HUDCO).