It’s not a big scam, but astonishing. The diversion KHADC funds of over Rs 2 crore in separate installments to some private bank accounts show how disarrayed is the functioning of district councils. Despite being in neck-deep corruption, no government department would dare do such thing. There might be omission and commission, but sending the funds to private accounts is unimaginable. Even private companies have their own account. Owners don’t keep the money in personal accounts!

What is interesting here is that the money was deposited in the accounts of an official and a committee constituted by the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC). There is no name of politician. Of course, there are some other accounts information for which is yet to be disclosed. While the money deposited in the account of the committee may not come under scanner, the main question is raised about the account of the now-retired official. One executive committee (EC) member, before disclosure of the names, asserted that there was no member of district council (MDC) involved in it. This means keeping the money in the official’s account is just an escape route. There must be political hand behind. Otherwise, he cannot bring in Council’s money into his own account and even if he can he won’t take such big risk as his job would be gone once political masters came to know about it.

The motive behind diverting the funds is another big question. Ostensibly, it was not to pocket the money altogether. The idea may be to get the interest from the parked money, which would be a huge amount. And the interests can be shared among the close group of involved officials/politicians! Even if an inquiry was ordered, it may end up not being able to point the blame at anyone. Perhaps it has never happened in Meghalaya that any politician or top official had to serve jail term for corruption. Most allegations and charges end up in non conviction, either in corruption or law and order matters when the needle is pointed at bigwigs. Let’s hope for an exception in this KHADC case!

(Published as editorial in The Meghalaya Guardian on October 21, 2016)