HC orders for CBI probe into Maharashtra tribal development scheme
Tribal development scheme was implemented in 28 districts of Maharashtra between 2004 and 2010 where the Ministry of Tribal Welfare of the Central government had released funds for tribal development. An allegation was made that during the tenure of Vijay Kumar Gavit as the tribal welfare minister of Maharashtra, nearly Rs 12,000 crore was released for the scheme out of which Rs 6,000 crore were siphoned off.
The matter was taken up by a RTI activist who started collection of information related to tribal development work. He filed an FIR with the local police but they could not find any evidence to suggest corruption forcing the RTI activist to file a PIL in the High Court. His demand for a CBI probe was acceded by the High Court and the CBI has completed the preliminary investigation. The CBI has informed that it appeared to be a huge scam and requested the court to set up a Special Investigation Team for probe. It appears that there is prima facie evidence of corruption worth Rs 6,000 crore in purchases of materials relating to tribal development schemes.
A detailed investigation is likely to expose many skeletons. The Bombay High Court has asked the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to explain how come he was unaware about the siphoning off of such a huge amount.