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Maha govt invokes MCOCA in food grain malpractices cases

Maharashtra Assembly

Mumbai:  Maharashtra government today said it will invoke the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against officials and those involved in cases of misappropriation of food grains.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat announced the decision during Question Hour at the Legislative Council. He also announced suspension 16 officers, who were allegedly involved in the misappropriation of the food grains at ration shops.

The government will form teams to check such cases, he added.

The issue was raised by NCP MLC Hemant Takle who pointed out the misappropriation of food grains at ration shops across the state.

He questioned if an inquiry would be conducted in such cases.

Congress MLC Manikrao Thakre asked if the government was going to conduct checks into all rationing shops in across the state.

In reply to the queries, Bapat said, “It is true that we do not have vigilance squad to check about the food grains. But we will form 30-35 squads. Also, those who are involved in misappropriation of the food grains would be held under MCOCA. I also announce the suspension of 16 officers taking cognisance of the complaints received.”

He said that an inquiry will be conducted in all cases of misappropriation of food grains and other rationing items by the Comptroller Auditor General.

“We will introduce a bio-metric system to stop the malpractices and every vehicle carrying food items will have GPS system to track them. The next step is to make home delivery of the rationing items,” Bapat said.

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