“It is high time for citizens to come together to tell their governments that they have had enough. That this is the miasma of corruption. If the same continues, taxpayers may refuse to pay taxes by non-cooperation movement,” observed Justice Arun Chaudhari of the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court here on Tuesday.
The observation is part of an order rejecting the anticipatory bail application of Pralhad Pawar, district manager of Lokshahir Annabhau Sathe Vikas Mahamandal at Bhandara, an accused in the Rs 385-crore fraud in the Mahamandal, which was set up to uplift the Dalit Matang community.
Noting that the chairman of the Mahamandal, MLA Ramesh Kadam, and Managing Director Shravan Bawane together misappropriated Rs 385 crore in cahoot with bank officers, Justice Chaudhari said, “The Mahamandal was set up for Matangs, who are still mired in appalling poverty, and a large number of them are still engaged in their traditional profession of blowing trumpets and bugles for their livelihood. The misappropriation shocks one and all to the manner in which taxpayers’ money is being swindled, misappropriated and robbed by such unscrupulous holders of post. How this huge money of Rs 285 crore will come back is a million-dollar question.”
Justice Chuadhari further said, “For more than two decades, this has become the order of the day. Do the taxpayers pay money to the government for such kind of acrobatics?”
Justice Chaudhari, who recently initiated contempt proceedings against writer Arundhati Roy while rejecting the bail plea of Naxal sympathiser G N Saibaba, went on to observe: “Ethics and morals have taken a backseat in modern India’s scheme of things. In my considered opinion, corruption can be beaten if all of us work together. To eradicate the cancer of corruption-the ‘hydra-headed monster’, it is now high time for citizens to come together to tell their governments that they have had enough.”The judge also rapped employee unions of government entities.