SKIMS former director, two current HODs under vigilance probe

SKIMS former director, two current HODs under vigilance probe

Srinagar: Dr Showkat Zargar, former Director of Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, and heads of two SKIMS departments are under the scanner of the State Vigilance Commission (SVC), which has begun a probe into an alleged illegal appointment in the Department of Radiological Physics and Bio-Engineering in 2013.
Official sources told Kashmir Reader that the SVC has begun a probe into the appointment of Senior Research Officer (SRO) Mohsin Rehman Khan during the tenure of former Director Dr Showkat Zargar. The SVC has initiated the probe after receiving a written complaint by a social activist recently. The complaint has been forwarded to the current Director, Dr Omar Javed Shah.
Sources said that the present Head of Department of Radiotherapy, Prof M Maqbool Lone, and Head of Department Radiation Physics and Bio-Engineering, Dr M Mohib-ul-Haq Malik, are also under investigation for their role in the appointment made by relaxing rules to accommodate a blue-eyed candidate.
“The Commission has sought all documents of the recruitment process which happened in the Department of Radiological Physics and Bio-Engineering in 2013,” sources said.
A senior SKIMS official, privy to the development, said the probe was initiated after a complaint was filed with the Vigilance Commissioner against the appointment of Mohsin Rehman Khan as Senior Research Officer (SRO) in 2013, allegedly made in violation of MCI rules.
“Mohsin Rehman was appointed in violation to the MCI rules in 2013 because he is a related to both the HODs. They misused their official position to adjust him even as he was not eligible as per the MCI rules as PhD is the eligibility criteria for the post. However, the selected candidate doesn’t have the requisite qualification during the time of selection,” reads the complaint, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader.
Sources said the duo had changed the selection criteria on “one-time basis” to induct the blue-eyed candidate, though they were not the competent authority to do so. Not just that, they managed to secure approval of the premier institute’s Director, Dr Showkat Zargar.
“They managed to bend rules by misleading the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) and Governing Body of SKIMS. They projected wrong selection criteria before them, even as they were enjoying the patronage of the former Director. It’s sheer breach of trust. Officials bend the rules by tampering with the actual rules and mislead the top bodies of the institution,” a senior official told Kashmir Reader.
The social activist’s complaint has also mentioned the dubious purchase of a linear accelerator for the Department of Radiation Oncology and Department of Radiation Physics and Bio-Medical Engineering. This purchase is already under investigation by the Vigilance Organisation Kashmir (VOK).
Despite repeated attempts, current Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah didn’t respond to calls from the Kashmir Reader office.
Commissioner Vigilance, Gazzanfar Hussain, didn’t divulge any information regarding the complaint against SKIMS Soura. However, he said any such complaint would be investigated as per its gravity.
“I can’t tell you anything about the complaint. You can mail us on official mail so that we response accordingly,” he said.
Asked which agency investigates such complaints, he said: “The commissioner can assign the job to the erstwhile Vigilance Organisation or the Crime Branch, as per its gravity.”