Massive scam unearthed in JHADC

JHADC CEM MB Rymbai doles out huge benefits to family members , supporters

JOWAI: With elections to the Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council slated on February 24, a huge scam worth Rs 1.18 crore has been unearthed in the JHADC, thanks to an RTI (Right to Information) query by one Arlin Dkhar of Khliehtyrshi village in West Jaintia Hills.

According to documents obtained by the RTI applicant, which were provided by the Public Information Officer (PIO), Finance & Accounts Department, JHADC, the Chief Executive Member, MB Rymbai, has released an amount of Rs.1,18,50,000 including Discretionary Grant (DG) of Rs.66 lakh and Gratuity Relief amounting to Rs.52.50 lakh, which were paid between May 9, 2013 and December 2, 2013.

Surprisingly, several beneficiaries whose names appear on the list have claimed that they had not received the amount as mentioned in the documents. It is also alleged that several ghost names also figure in the list of the beneficiaries.

According to the documents, one Coming Pyrtuh of Sohmynting village received an amount of Rs.43.50 lakh on December 2, 2012 as discretionary grant.

However, Pyrtuh, while interacting with newspersons, denied having received the amount as mentioned in the documents.

“I never received such a big amount and I am shocked to see my name in the list of beneficiaries as per the RTI report, a copy of which was provided to me,” Pyrtuh claimed.

Pyrtuh further claimed that the Chief Executive member MB Rymbai had given him Rs.5000 a few weeks ago. “I was hospitalized recently and when I was discharged from the Hospital, Rymbai came to my residence at Sohmynting and gave me Rs. 5000 and not Rs.43.50 lakh as mentioned in the report,” he added.

The documents also revealed that the JHADC chief had disbursed huge amounts of money to his mother, siblings and also to his wife, beside his close relatives and supporters. A total of Rs.11,20,000 were disbursed to his family members, the documents revealed.

The name of Sanbok Rymbai, the elder brother of the JHADC CEM, appears in the list as many as five times. Sanbok received Rs 50,000 on June 11, 2010 as gratuity relief and Rs 3 lakh on March 17, 2011, Rs 50,000 on October 12, 2011, Rs 3 lakh on March 14, 2012 and Rs 2 lakh on July 27, 2012, all as discretionary grants.

Tein Rymbai, the mother of the JHADC CEM, received an amount of Rs.3.50 lakh and figures in the list of beneficiaries three times. Lasan Rymbai, the younger brother of the CEM, received Rs. 1 lakh and figures in the list on two occasions. Lewanka Dkhar (wife of the JHADC chief) appears as a beneficiary on three occasions as received a total of Rs. 1.50 lakh. Kitbok Rymbai, headman of Khliehtyrshi village, and Mar-oo Rymbai (both younger brothers of the CEM) received amounts of Rs.50, 000 each.

Bnai Rymbai and Karwing Muruh, both prominent leaders and known supporters of MB Rymbai and residents of Khliehtyrshi village, received amounts of Rs.5 lakh and Rs.6 lakh respectively, between September and December 2013 respectively.

Mol Dkhar and Dre Dkhar, both ex-headmen of Mupyut village, whose names are listed as beneficiaries, denied that they had received the amount mentioned in the documents. As per the RTI reports, Dre Dkhar received the amount of Rs.31.5 lakh in December, 2013, as gratuity relief, while Mol Dkhar received Rs.50,000.

Tyngshain Pyrtuh, Chialty Kyndait and Sailin Pyrtuh, all residents of Sohmynting, also confirmed that they had never received any grant either from the JHADC CEM or from the office.

Several ghost names such as Bran Pohsiej, Choin Kyndiap and Sain Pohsiej (all mentioned as residents of Mupyut) also appear as beneficiaries. However, both Mol Dkhar and Dre Dkhar, ex-headmen of Mupyut, confirmed that no one with such names ever existed in their village.

The discretionary grants and gratuity relief were meant to be distributed on an equal basis to all the 29 constituencies in the JHADC, but the documents revealed that the the entire amount was distributed only to residents of selected villages under Amwi-Khliehtyrshi constituency, which is represented by the JHADC CEM.

“It seems that the JHADC belongs to the Rymbai family and supporters of MB Rymbai and not to the people of Jaintia Hills,” said a person from Khliehtyrshi, who was named as a beneficiary but denied having ever received any amount from the JHADC.

Ksoh Pakyntien and Lambor Blah of Demthring village, Hom Chyrmang of Mupyut, Phel Kyndait and Bro Surong of Thangbuli village, Church elder Tiarsing Nongrum of Phlongingkhaw, all have been shown to have received various amounts of money ranging from Rs.50,000 to Rs.31,50,000. However, all of them denied having received any sum of money from the JHADC.

Misuse of powers: Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Member has also been accused of allegedly misusing his power by recently issuing a transfer order to the Finance & Accounts Officer of the JHADC. The order was, however, not implemented since it was against official procedure.

“The FAO cannot be transferred without closing the JHADC account for the financial year. If the JHADC CEM wants him to be transferred, he can do so only after the financial year ends in March,” a JHADC official said.

Sources informed that the JHADC chief issued the transfer order since the Finance & Accounts Officer, who is a resident of Rymbai village at Khliehtyrshi, refused to support him (MB Rymbai) in the upcoming district council election.

Appointments for political gains: The JHADC chief has also been accused of making several appointments through a “back door policy” ostensibly for political gains.

“Recently, the CEM appointed 32 persons as employees of the District Council beside four vice-chairmen of various committees under the JHADC,” a reliable source informed.

The four vice-chairmen were each appointed against a fixed honorarium of Rs.50, 000 per month. One of the appointees is Heibok Suting of Sohmynting, a UDP leader who had unsuccessfully contested the district council elections in 2009. “After his appointment as the vice-chairman of Resources Mobilisation, Suting has decided to support MB Rymbai,” the source claimed.

Another official source, while confirming the appointments, stated that there was no budgetary provision for appointment of 32 employees and four chairmen.

 CEM’s brothers, mother, wife listed as beneficiaries
Ghost names included in list
Beneficiaries named in list deny receiving any fund from JHADC
Several CEM supporters receive undue benefits