JORHAT, April 27 - The Jorhat Municipal Board authorities yesterday lodged an FIR against a tax collector of the Board named Debanga Saikia at the Jorhat Police Station on charges of siphoning off over Rs three lakh collected as quarterly tax from the citizens during the past few years.
A JMB source stated that Saikia, appointed during the tenure of the previous Board run by the Congress party, allegedly during the past few years did not deposit the money collected as tax from the citizens in the JMB office.
The amount of money collected as tax by Saikia from JMB tax-payers that was not deposited in the Board office is over Rs three lakh, the source revealed.
The source further informed that the JMB authorities suspended Saikia from service and lodged an FIR against him at the police station.
An official of the Jorhat Police Station said that a case has been registered against Saikia under the relevant Sections of IPC and investigation was on.
Questions have been raised against the JMB, which is run by the BJP and has completed four years of governance early this month, as to why legal action was not initiated against Saikia after his alleged acts of irregularities were detected several months back, the JMB source pointed out.
The source said that the JMB authorities allegedly gave him (Saikia) time to refund the money instead of approaching the police.
It may be mentioned here that the current JMB run by BJP since April 1, 2015, has been plagued by frequent feuds among the saffron party ward commissioners leading to replacement of Chairman in September 2017.
The previous JMB chairperson Aruna Dutta, who led the Board since April 2015, had quit the post on August 3, 2017, after she reportedly faced opposition from a section of her own BJP ward commissioners.
Jayanta Borkakoty, who replaced Dutta in September 2017, after overcoming opposition from nine out of 12 BJP ward commissioners, has been facing stiff resistance since December 2018 from a majority of members from his party, besides Opposition Congress.
Borkakoty after getting embroiled in allegations of having an illicit relationship with a woman, had gone on a long leave with the incumbent Vice-Chairman Paban Bordoloi also performing the duties of Chairman on an in-charge basis.
Though twice the JMB ward commissioners (both BJP and Congress) passed a no-confidence motion against Borkakoty since January this year, he has not yet officially resigned from the post nor relinquished charge.
Borkakoty moved the Gauhati High Court and got an order passed by the Court in March last staying the no-trust motion against him and giving him 20 days time to prove his majority, the source stated.
The source further said that with 20 days period passing by and Borkakoty failing to prove his majority, the ward commissioners were likely to approach the district administration to inform the Government about the situation for taking necessary action to break the impasse.
It may be mentioned here that Bordoloi is the second Vice Chairman in the present JMB as the former Vice Chairman Anup Ghosh Dastidar resigned from the post on November 24, 2017, citing personal reasons after which Bordoloi became the Vice Chairman on January 2018.