SRINAGAR: Despite figuring on the ‘corruption radar’, heads of various autonomous bodies in the state are continuing on their plum posts as their cases are yet to be disposed of by the State Vigilance Organisation.
A report presented during the question-answer session in the Legislative Assembly on October 7 reveals the names of officials against whom complaints have been registered since January 2015.
Ram Paul Sharma, MD, and Kulbushan Lal, FA/financial controller, Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board, are facing charges of ‘irregularities in purchasing’.
Secretary to government, Transport Department has a case on ‘ignoring norms for allotment of land’ registered against him.
Abdul Majid Mir, ex-Custodian General Jammu and Kashmir, who attained superannuation in July this year, faces charges of ‘misuse of official position by allotting Evacuee property to undeserving persons’.
Some other names in the list are: Mohammad Aslam Bhat, MD Jammu and Kashmir State Cooperative Agriculture and RD Bank Ltd; the charge against Aslam is of ‘illegal appointments and embezzlement of public money’. Dr Showkat Ahmad Zargar, Director SKIMS, has a corruption charge of ‘illegally appointing more than 100 class 4th employees’. Atta Mohd Khan, Chief Executive Engineer (CEO), Central Cooperative Bank, Anantnag, is involved in a case of ‘rampant bungling in ACC Bank’. Jagmohan Singh Tandon, ex-MD SRTC Jammu and Kashmir faces a charge of ‘irregularities /bungling and misappropriation of an amount of Rs 1.50 crore’. And Rakesh Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Kathua, is accused of ‘purchasing coal from local dealers of Jammu without calling for tenders’. The corruption charges against all these officials are being probed.
The report further says that probes into 305 corruption cases registered since January 2015 are yet be completed by the State Vigilance Organisation. Giving a written reply to a question asked by PDP MLA Qamar Hussein, the minister-in-charge responded that the “State Vigilance Commission has received 857 complaints since January 2015, out of which 552 are under adjudication and 305 complaints of corruption, nepotism and malpractice are yet to be disposed of. No complaint has been registered for regular enquiry since January 2015 in the state Accountability Commission.”
The report also mentions that the long-pending, and biggest-ever land scam case in the state, the Roshni scam — in which 3,40,091 kanals of agricultural land were transferred to encroachers – was still under investigation.
Old cases registered against former ministers are also under investigation: Gulchain Singh (ex-minister PWD (R&B) chairman JKPCC), is alleged to have recommended the contract of constructing the Ganpat Bridge over the Chenab, at Doda, in favour of Anil Sharma (contractor) without following the formalities, in connivance with other respondents. Also, there are allegations of crores being misappropriated while he was in the JKPCC. The cases have been registered in 2008.
The case against Mangat Ram Sharma (former Chairman J&K Khadi and Village Industries Board and former minister for Health and Medical Education), registered in 2007, is that during his tenure as Industries and Commerce minister, he made illegal appointments in the KVIB.
In 2006, a case was registered against Taj Mohiuddin (former minister CAPD) on having allotted contracts to various people for grinding wheat for one year, but later extending the benefits to only one contractor, Kasturi Lal Mahajan. Suman Baghat (former health minister) allegedly, in connivance with her son (who was then a PRO) and the-then MOS health AG Sofi, directed the Principal AMT school, Srinagar, to nominate 931 candidates.
In eight cases, the report revealed, where former ministers, police officers, legislators and bureaucrats are involved, a challan has either been filed or a judicial enquiry is still on.