Srinagar: The High Court declined to accept police’s status report about the investigation into alleged embezzlement of over Rs 113 crore funds in J&K Cricket Association, observing that the material facts have been suppressed “as part of purposeful delaying tactics” by it.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of chief justice N Paul Vasanathakumar and Justice B L Bhat meanwhile directed the police to file a fresh status report on Monday even as it rejected Inspector General of Police’s plea to exempt him from personal appearance.
“The status report suppresses the material facts including the order passed by Principal District and Sessions Judge Srinagar on July 18 regarding the pre-arrest bail to the prime accused (Mohammad Saleem Khan, former general secretary; and Mohammad Ahsan Mirza, ex-treasurer of JKCA),” the division bench said after the counsels told it that the police application for cancellation of the pre-arrest bail of the accused has been rejected by the Sessions Court.
In the status report, the IGP Kashmir had stated that custodial questioning of the prime accused has become inevitable but he had cited pre-arrest bail as an impediment to it.
The police report had only mentioned that the Sessions court has directed the accused to cooperate with the investigation agency but was silent on rejection of the application for the cancellation of the bail.
“Without reference to the documents, you have filed the affidavit (status report). This is purposeful delaying tactics and we are not accepting this status report,” the court said and directed the IGP to file fresh status report on Monday.
The court also turned down the request by Additional Advocate General Asif Ahmad that IGP’s personal appearance should be dispended with.
Meanwhile, the status report revealed that JKCA’s financial statements for the financial year 2007-08, 2008-09, and 2009-10 shows ‘malicious intentions’ on part of the ‘signatories to these financial statements as well as auditors of JKCA where gross receipts from Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) vary substantially during the periods.’
Earlier, advocate Javed Iqbal, representing JKCA president Farooq Abdullah, questioned police’s silence against those whose names were submitted by police in a sealed cover along the previous status report.
“These persons, whose names are reflected in the sealed cover, are either accused or somehow linked to the embezzlement but what has happened later, nothing is stated by the police nor this court is taken into the confidence about it,” Iqbal added.
Advocate G A Lone, representing one of the impleaded parties in the case, submitted that the case should be handed over to crime branch.
“Let them file the fresh status report on Monday, we will see to it (handing over the case to Crime Branch),” the bench said.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed last year by cricketers Majid Yaqoob Dar and Nissar Ahmad Khan, seeking directions by the court to conclude investigation in the case (FIR 27/2012) registered by police on March 10, 2012 following a complaint from then chairman JKCA, Mohammad Aslam Goni through a fax mentioning that as per the report of then treasurer, Manzoor Ahmad Wazir, bogus accounts on JKCA funds have been operated in the various J&K Bank accounts by the ex-General Secretary and then Treasurer under their joint signatures. Goni had also alleged misappropriation of funds.