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The Public Distribution System (PDS) Scam In India

by Nidhi
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Public Distribution System

The Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud decided to hear the Nagrik Apurti Nigam (NAN) scam case in the Supreme Court after a heated discussion happened between the Chhattisgarh Government and the Enforcement Directorate last week over the case.

Nagrik Apurti Nigam (NAN) Scam

The Nagrik Apurti Nigam (NAN) is the Public Distribution System’s key organization in Chhattisgarh for collecting and providing food grains (PDS) to the people. The opposition claimed that the government was distributing poor-quality grains through the PDS in 2015, while Raman Singh, a former chief minister, and important BJP member, was in authority. An investigation regarding this matter was started by the State’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). During raids at the Nagrik Apurti Nigam (NAN) office, the investigators found unspent cash which was more than 3 crores. Additionally, it analyzed the food samples for quality, confirming that many of the salt and rice samples were unsuitable for human consumption.  It appeared that there were 27 people, including two IAS officers involved in the case.

Anil Tuteja and Alok Shukla, the chairman and managing director of NAN are accused of approving the distribution of poor foods among the people. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) initiated a money laundering investigation into the matter as well. In 2018, allegations were made against the officers. After coming into power in December 2018, Bhupesh Bhagel’s Congress administration quickly formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the situation once more. Notably, the two accused IAS officers were hired to government positions by Mr. Bhagel’s administration, and in 2020, the Chhattisgarh High Court also granted Bail to the two accused officers.

Demand Of The Enforcement Directorate (ED)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a petition in the Supreme Court asking for a transfer of the case to the CBI. In its appeal, the ED requested the court and said that how the judiciary and the present Chhattisgarh administration were allegedly undermining the investigation and supporting the accused in the case. They further said that they were pressurized to justify the witness of the evidence against the officers.

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