A local court has given permission for Mizoram’s Anti-Corruption Bureau to proceed with criminal investigation against the Chief Executive Member of the Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) and five others for allegedly siphoning off several crores of rupees meant for teachers’ salaries, including those of ghost teachers.
The LADC is an autonomous tribal district under the sixth schedule of the Indian Constitution, and is located in Mizoram’s southern periphery bordering Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The Aizawl District court gave its assent to the ACB on Thursday after the anti-graft agency submitted it’s premilinary enquiry showing at least Rs 3.19 crores in teachers’ salaries were siphoned off by the District Education Officer, a teacher working as a cashier in his office and two leaders of the district’s teachers’ association, who purportedly also gave Rs 21 lakhs of their loot to CEM V Zirsanga.
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According to the preliminary enquiry report submitted to the court, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, DEO Lalduna Chinzah withdrew salaries for more than a hundred teachers worth Rs 1.33 crores in spite of the same already being withdrawn earlier.
Chinzah had also issued Last Pay Ceritifcates for 41 teaching and non-teaching staff who had never been employed by the LADC.
The DEO also withdrew salaries for two ghost teachers which amounts to at least Rs 13 lakhs.
Meanwhile, salaries of three real teachers worth a total of more than Rs 16 lakhs was also withdrawn but the money never reached the trio.
The ACB’s inquiry says at least four others benefitted from the siphoning of funds besides the DEO, who allegedly pocketed more than Rs 73 lakhs.
It says N C Muankima and C Lalchawiliana, respectively the president and secretary of the district’s Middle School Teachers’ Association, took at least Rs 53 lakhs between themselves and of this handed over Rs 21 lakhs to CEM V Zirsanga.
The teacher cum cashier in the DEO’s office Ramengzauva meanwhile is alleged to have gotten Rs 30 lakhs for himself.
Besides these five persons, the ACB has also received sanction to investigate a former assistant education officer named B Vanlalngheta, who is currently poisted in the Art and Culture Department.
The ACB said it examined a total of 48 witnesses including Minister of State C Ngunlianchunga, who was formerly CEM of the LADC before becoming an MLA in the 2013 statewide elections.
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