Justice A Guneshwar Sharma of the Manipur High Court on Friday rejected anticipatory bail (AB) of three women - two women ward members of Wangbal GP and a woman Business Correspondent of the Punjab National Bank.
The AB was filed by the three women in connection with FIR register at Vigilance and Anti-Corruption PS under section 120-B r/w 420/430 IPC & section, 13(2) r/w 13(1)(a) of PC Act, 1988 on September 9, 2022 for misappropriation of huge government money under MGNREGS for wrongful gain.
Member Laishram (O) Athokpam Thoinu of ward No. 1; member Nepram Khomdonbi Devi ward No. 2 of Wangbal Gram Panchayat, Thoubal district and Thoudam Kamala Devi, business correspondent (BC) of Punjab National Bank, Thoubal of Wangbal Village filed the anticipatory bail before the High Court.
The Special Judge (PC), Thoubal had also rejected their anticipatory bail on September 29, 2022 on the ground that the women had fraudulently misappropriated huge government money for wrongful gain.
The FIR discloses that the elected ward members, in connivance with business correspondent of the PNB, other unnamed officials, the BDO official and other private party, had hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the job card holders of their wages and they have succeeded in doing the same. They have created duplicate and fake job cards, opened accounts in the name of non-existent or wrong persons and made withdrawals by not giving full amount to the job card holders and in collusion, they have made conspiracy, cheating and criminal misappropriation of property belonging to the job card holders, the FIR states.
The HC stated that it is seen that linking of the job card holders was made to other persons’ accounts and hence, there is cheating and misappropriation on the part of the petitioners and other co-accused. It is also seen that the job card account was prepared even in the name of an unsound person and the same was linked to another person’s account. Such instances which are mentioned in the counter affidavit filed by the state were revealed during the course of investigation.
The HC further stated that many of the job card holders were not provided with full payment and a large part of the wages were retained by the petitioners in collusion clearing indicating materials for the offence of criminal conspiracy, cheating and misappropriation of money.
Therefore, the High Court does not find any merit in the matters and the bail applications are rejected, it stated.