JKCA scam: HC reserves order on handing over probe to Crime Branch

JKCA scam: HC reserves order on handing over probe to Crime Branch

Srinagar: The J&K high court on Monday reserved its order on whether to hand over crime branch or any other agency the investigation into the alleged embezzlement of over Rs 113 crore funds in J&K Cricket Association. The alleged scam is presently investigated by a special investigation of police and after about three years, it has failed to conclude it.
“Our only doubt is whether the crime branch can go to BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) from where funds are flowing and make investigation there (BCCI headquarters, Mumbai) or there some central agency (possibly CBI) is to be involved,” a division bench of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Bansi Lal Bhat told counsel appearing for different parties in a Public Interest Litigation, filed last year by cricketers Majid Yaqoob Dar and Nissar Ahmad Khan. The duo seeks directions by the court to conclude investigation in the case (FIR 27/2012) registered at Ram Munshi Bagh Police station on March 10, 2012.
“We want fair investigation and that it should be completed at an earliest,” the bench said and sought response from the counsel.
“Our police (read Crime branch) is not restrained to investigate the matter beyond the borders. In this case, what BCCI has to authenticate as how much money flowed since 2002 till this scandal came to light,” senior counsel, advocate B A Bashir, one of the counsel, said.
Another counsel, senior advocate R A Jan brought the attention of the bench to amendments in CrPC and urged the court to grant him sometime to “properly assistant” the court.
The bench posted the case after the break and when it came up for hearing again, Jan submitted that section 177 of the criminal procedure code confers police enough powers to investigate the matter outside the state also.
Advocate Javed Iqbal, counsel representing Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the ‘president’ JKCA, submitted that handing over the probe to some other agency besides the SIT would mean to turn the clock anticlockwise.
“Police has completed the investigation to some extent and it should be allowed to proceed and complete it,” the counsel said.
However, advocate Mian Qayoom, counsel representing the petitioners said that the police has failed to complete the investigation and insisted that it should be handed over to some other agency so that it was completed at an earliest.
After hearing all the parties, the court reserved its orders without specifying the date on which it would announce its decision
The state government has already stated that it has no objection if the probe was handed over to some other agency.
“We are not averse to if the investigation is handed over to any other agency. We have no objection (to Crime Branch probe),” said Additional Advocate General had informed the division bench on last date of hearing in the case.
Advocate GA Lone, representing an impleaded party in the case, had said that the investigation was not even going at snail’s pace.
The police registered the FIR following a complaint by 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 former general secretary and then treasurer under their joint signatures.
“Involvement of some bank officials cannot be ruled out. Bogus accounts were created and even a number of transactions have taken place in a single day. Let the case be handed over to the crime branch as police investigation is going nowhere and is only taking us two years back,” Lone had added.