Northeast

Dipu Gangmei's MLA status at stake

Manipur High Court sets aside Dipu Gangmei's resignation and vigilance integrity certificate.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 22 Dec 2022, 6:13 am

Nungba MLA Dinganglung (Dipu) Gangmei (PHOTO: IFP)
Nungba MLA Dinganglung (Dipu) Gangmei (PHOTO: IFP)


Justice Muralidaran of the Manipur High Court set aside the resignation of Nungba MLA Dinganglung (Dipu) Gangmei (the then CEO-ADC of Tamenglong) from Indian Administrative Service, which was accepted by the government of India and government of Manipur.

The Manipur High Court also restored the closed vigilance case against Dipu Gangmei and directed it to investigate into the case and file a report before the competent authority for further action.

Following the HC judgement, the status of Dinganglung (Dipu) Gangmei as an MLA of Nungba constituency is uncertain now as he has been reverted back to government service which automatically bars him from contesting as a candidate in state assembly elections.

The ball now lies in the court of the state governor and Election Commission of India to decide on his MLA status.

The writ petition was filed by Alan Kamei to quash the order of January 11, 2022 issued by the government of India, that accepted the resignation of Dipu Gangmei, Manipur cadre IAS with effect from November 15, 2021 in view of the vigilance integrity certificate and the vigilance inquiry closure report of November 29, 2021 in connection with the complaint/report lodged by him.

Alan Kamei lodged a complaint to SP Vigilance against Dipu Gangmei alleging that he as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Autonomous District Council (ADC), Tamenglong and in connivance with the other ADC members misappropriated certain funds amounting to several crores sanctioned to Tamenglong district.

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In the complaint, it was alleged that Dipu Gangmei in his capacity had illegally awarded projects under the 14th Finance Commission to bogus work agencies and maliciously included the complainant’s name as one of the work agencies without his knowledge and consent.

It alleged that in connivance with the other ADC members misappropriated a sum of Rs 13 lakh by implicating Dipu as work agency corresponding to the work projects, namely development/maintenance of cremation ground/cemetery amount to Rs 10 lakh; construction of drainage/water storm drainage amount to Rs 3 lakh.

Since, SP Vigilance failed to further proceed with the inquiry after due registration of the case, the petitioner has filed W.P.(C) No. 893 of 2021 seeking a writ of mandamus directing the SP Vigilance to complete the preliminary inquiry promptly and without further delay.

The HC on December 10, 2021, granted an interim order directing that in the event of vigilance clearance the same shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition. In spite of such an interim order, the director of Vigilance issued a vigilance integrity certificate on December 13, 2021 to Dipu Gangmei, stating that no vigilance case is pending against him.

While closing the case, the SP Vigilance did not inform the complainant.

The HC after considering submissions from counsels, stated that the order has been issued without considering the alleged certificate of December 13, 2021, issued by the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, as the same is not an integrity certificate issued in favour of Dipu Gangmei.

“It has been issued simply stating that no vigilance case is pending against Dipu Gangmei. The certification given by the Director of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption that no vigilance case is pending is also highly doubtful since the Vigilance Case registered against him based on the complaint lodged by the petitioner has been closed behind the back of the petitioner. Therefore, the impugned order dated January 1, 2022 is liable to be set aside”, stated the HC.

The HC even stated that the action of the SP Vigilance on closing the vigilance Case without knowledge of the petitioner is unfair and the acceptance of the resignation of Dipu Gangmei based on the certificate that no vigilance case is pending against him that too with effect from November 15, 2021 is also unfair.

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The writ petition before the HC was filed on December 4, 2021 and the director of Vigilance along with the SP Vigilance filed an affidavit before the HC on November 29, 2021, stating that the competent authority decided not to proceed further with the Vigilance Case, in view of the matter pending before the Lokayukta and unavailability of relevant documents. And, the vigilance case was closed on November 29, 2021.

The HC also found that the certificate issued by the vigilance was “Integrity Certificate – (Vigilance clearance) thereof”, in the note it has been specifically stated that the certificate cannot be used as an integrity certificate. So, the government of India and the government of Manipur could not have accepted the resignation of Dipu Gangmei solely based on the certificate, the HC stated.

The HC opined that the closure of the Vigilance Case is highly doubtful and before accepting the resignation of Dipu Gangmei, there was no vigilance integrity certificate available giving a clean slate to him. Therefore, the high court is of the view that the acceptance of the resignation and issuing termination order by the government of Manipur is arbitrary in nature and thus the impugned order is not sustainable in the eyes of law.

It also mentioned that the Manipur Lokayukta also took cognizance of the issue and Complaint Case Nos.3 of 2020 and 9 of 2021 in connection with the misappropriation of public fund amounting to Rs.18.02 crore without any work being executed in collusion with Dipu Gangmei, the CEO, the chairman and members of ADC, Tamenglong have been registered against him and other officials.

The Manipur Lokayukta observed that there exists a prima facie case for investigation against Dipu Gangmei. Thus, ignoring the cases pending before the Manipur Lokayukta, the impugned order came to be passed by the government of India and the government of Manipur, thereby accepting the resignation of him and issued the termination order.

The HC stated that in order to unearth the truth, the vigilance enquiry needs to be continued, for which the alleged closure of the vigilance case is to be restored and the concerned authority is directed to investigate/enquire into the matter and file a report before the competent authority for further action.

And, the proceedings pending before the Manipur Lokayukta is not a bar to investigate into the matter by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption. It is for the Manipur Lokayukta to proceed with the cases pending on its file and decide in accordance with law and the High Court has not commented upon the proceedings pending before the Manipur Lokayukta in respect of the issue.

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Manipur Lokayuktadinganglung gangmeidipu gangmeiNungba mla

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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