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MDS scam: Residences of Ibobi, Ningthem raided
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, November 22 2019: CBI conducted a raid at the residence of former Chief Minister O Ibobi and 8 others simultaneously, in connection with the Manipur Development Society (MDS) fund misappropriation case.

According to a reliable source, CBI began the raid from early morning today and did not allow anyone to leave or enter the residences during the raid.

Former Chief Minister and CLP leader Okram Ibobi's Thoubal residence and his official quarter located at Babupara, former Chief Secretary O Nabakishore's quarter and his Ningthoukhong residence, former Project Director of MDS Yambem Ningthem's Mantripukri residence and Administrative Officer, MDS, S Ranjit Singh's residence were raided by the CBI.

Raids were also conducted simultaneously at former Chief Secretary PC Luwmkunga's residence at Aizawl and former Chief Secretary DS Poonia's Gurgaon residence, the source informed.



MDS scam: Residences of Ibobi, Ningthem raided
MDS scam: Residences of Ibobi, Ningthem raided


It may be mentioned that in October, CBI took over the MDS case and sought permission from the State Government to investigate former Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, former Project Director of MDS, Y Ningthem Singh, former Chief Secretaries DS Poonia, PC Lawmkunga, O Nabakishore Singh and Administrative Officer, S Ranjit Singh.

The named persons have been accused of misappropriating Government funds to the tune of approximately Rs 332 crore out of nearly Rs 518 crore, which was released for executing development work.

Meanwhile ex-Chief Minister Okram who is currently at Delhi told media persons that he would extend full support to any investigation in the MDS scam.

The Congress alleged that the raids reflect clear political vendetta by Centre as the party is protesting against Government on different issues.

"CBI raiding former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh's official and private residences in Imphal and Thoubal of Manipur before Congress MLAs' protest against Modi Government on Citizenship Amendment Bill and Naga Accord at Jantar Mantar, Delhi today, reflects a clear political vendetta to intimidate Ibobi Singh and Congress' opposition," said Ningombam Bupenda Meitei.

"Any action to scuttle our democratic voices will remain unsuccessful as we struggle with the people of Manipur, to protect and safeguard Manipur, " he said.

At the Mantripukhri residence of Yambem Ningthem, the CBI team recovered certain amount of money from inside his house, sources informed.

Ningthem was reportedly at his house when the raid was conducted.

Reporters also saw one CBI official taking an electronic cash counting machine inside Ningthem's house.

However, the exact amount could not be ascertained.

Moreover, it is not clear whether the seized amount was in demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 or whether they are of the currency notes currently in circulation.

Earlier, a case was registered by Imphal PS for the investigation in the fund misappropriation case from 2017 onwards, before the State Government decided to hand over investigation to CBI last year.

The genesis of the FIR may be traced to the last part of November, 2016, when the Planning Department approached the Vigilance Department to conduct an enquiry on the financial irregularities in MDS and to take up necessary actions.

Following this, Vigilance Department initiated necessary inquiries and submitted its report to the State Government and acting on the report, the OC of Imphal PS registered the FIR against six individuals.

Based on the report of the Vigilance Department, the OC, in a written communication to Imphal West SP, explained that all the documents and relevant papers, including MBs, DPRs, sanction papers, etc, which are not available at the MDS office, need to be recovered from Y Ningthem Singh, as he was the Project Director.

The projects taken up during Ibobi's Chairmanship and the transactions done by MDS for various projects need to be verified, continued the written submission, adding that by virtue of his post, the Chairman is the joint account holder and joint signatory and the Project Director alone is not competent to make any transaction without the knowledge and consent of the Chairman.

It was also alleged that since lots of transaction were conducted during the tenure of DS Poonia as the Chairman from June 30, 2009 to June 30, 2013, he is required to be examined and his statement recorded.

Two other Chairpersons, PC Lawmkunga and O Nabakishore, also need to be examined and their statements recorded to check if there were any procedural lapses, financial misappropriation, cheques countersigned etc, it concluded.

During investigation, the OC also submitted that the inquiry report also indicated that the officials and staff of MDS had not observed the prescribed procedures, established norms and extant rules and awarded works to agencies without work agreements and added that the total liabilities to MDS is around the tune of Rs 185.79 crore.

Officials of Line Departments also need to be examined and their statements recorded as per the projects entrusted to MDS by them, the submission mentioned, although no names were detailed due to limited time.

It may also be mentioned that the six individuals entangled in the case, had filed anticipatory bail before the Session Judge, Imphal East and the High Court of Manipur and some of them were granted anticipatory bail.


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