SRINAGAR: The J&K High Court on Wednesday directed the state police to submit details of the First Information Report (FIR) and challan before the court against those officers who faced suspension in the Public Health Engineering (PHE) Handwara embezzlement scam.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe was hearing a PIL with regard to the much-publicised multi-crore scam in the Handwara division PHE, in which various employees from the rank of Executive Engineer to Junior Engineer are under suspension and are facing trial. The bench directed that the court be informed of the details and stage of the FIR registered in the scam by the senior police officer to the rank of SSP by the next date of hearing.
The court also directed that in case the challan has been submitted before the court of law, the progress and stage of the said challan be also submitted to the court on the next date of hearing along with the details of those persons against whom the challan has been produced.
The court directed that details be presented of water schemes which have been executed and the date of these schemes since 2010, as also of funds received by the PHE department for supply of drinking water to the people.
The court has also directed the PHE Department to apprise it about the process and details of disciplinary action taken against the erring officials of the department who were involved in the scam.
The drinking water scheme in Handwara division was carried out under the National Rural Drinking Water Program (NRDWP), but the amount which was to be incurred on the said scheme was embezzled by PHE department officials, due to which the projected has not been completed. Extending the scope of the PIL, the court on Wednesday directed the appraisal of other water schemes in the Valley by the Chief Engineer.
The court also directed for information with regard to the execution of water schemes, the break-up of works undertaken and names of officials executing these schemes.
It may be mentioned here that approximately Rs 45 crore has been swindled in the scam and the said money was meant for the scheme launched under NRDWP to provide drinking water to the people of district Handwara and its adjoining hilly areas.
In compliance with earlier court directions, the PHE department has placed 16 of its officials from the rank of Executive Engineer to Junior Engineer under suspension as they were found involved in irregularities and the embezzlement of crores of rupees.