VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh High Court expressed dissatisfaction over the panchayat raj department giving misleading information to it on the payment of MGNREGS bills to contractors. A batch of petitions were filed in the court by several contractors over the delay in payment of bills by the panchayat raj department for the works executed by them.
The panchayat raj department had informed the court that 21 per cent of the payments to be made to the contractors were not cleared as a vigilance enquiry was going on. The Centre informed the court that they were informed that vigilance enquiry was completed. The court then asked Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das to appear before it and submit the facts. Das, in the last hearing, told the court that the vigilance enquiry was over.
When the petition came up for hearing on Wednesday, Assistant Solicitor General N Harinadh, on behalf of Union Urban Development ministry secretary Deep Sekhar, filed an affidavit stating that the final report of the vigilance enquiry into the works was mailed to them by the State government on October 16.
Justice Durgaprasada Rao said the submissions made by the Chief Secretary and the Centre were similar while the panchayat raj department had misled the court by saying that 21% of the bills were kept pending in view of the vigilance enquiry. Stating that it came to a conclusion that the officials of the panchayat raj department tried to mislead it, the court posted the matter to October 4 for further hearing.