Court directs Government to shift Secretary HB & DGM till the conclusion of enquiry | KNO

Court directs Government to shift Secretary HB & DGM till the conclusion of enquiry | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

News Desk

 BY || NEYAZ ELAHI | KNO

The Division Bench also directed Commissioner Secretary to Government of J&K, Public Works Department to speed up the departmental enquiry against the four Executive Engineers namely Joginder Lal then DGM, Housing Board Jammu, Tarsem Lal then DGM, Housing Board Jammu, Bashir Ahmed Bhat then DGM, Housing Board Srinagar and G.H. Khanday then DGM, Housing Board Srinagar who were on deputation to Housing Board from R&B Department during the execution of the works. 

    The Division Bench according to news agency CNS also directed Director General Accounts and Treasuries to file the status of the departmental enquiry initiated against Kulbushan Kumar then FA/CAO J&K Housing Board who was on deputation to Housing Board from Director General Accounts and Treasuries (Finance Department) during the time of execution of the works.

    These directions were passed in in the much publicized Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Sheikh Muhammad Shafi and another Vs Union of India and others wherein the petitioners are seeking prosecution of the tainted officers under J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and also directions to the GAD to accord sanction for prosecution against the high ups involved in various scams.

When this PIL came up for hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Suraj Singh and Supriya Chouhan submitted that pursuant to order dated July 25th, 2017, Commissioner Secretary to Government of J&K HUDD has filed the status report into Rs 27 Crore Scam in J&K Housing Board. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that in the status report it has been divulged that vide Govt. Order no. 142-HUDD of 2017 dated June 15, 2017, M. Raju (IAS) Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation has been appointed as Enquiry Officer to hold the regular departmental enquiry against Ram Pal Sharma the then MD and Aftab Rashid Pandit DGM J&K Housing Board and the Enquiry Officer has requested for extension of three months time to complete the enquiry.

    Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that the competent authority (Minister Incharge H&UDD) has conveyed approval for the completion of Departmental Enquiry within two months and the same was conveyed to M. Raju (IAS) Commissioner Jammu Municipal Corporation vide Order No. 101-HUD of 2017 dated August 18, 2017.

    At this stage Advocate S.S. Ahmed submitted that Commissioner Secretary to Govt. of J&K HUDD is shielding the Secretary and DGM J&K Housing Board as despite serious allegations of corruption and mal practices, abuse of official position, the two delinquent officers are being allowed to continue on the prime positions in the J&K Housing Board and there is no whisper in the status report regarding this when on the last date of hearing the Division Bench had specifically directed the Administrative Secretary HUDD to indicate whether he is contemplating to shift the delinquent officers in order to ensure fair and impartial enquiry.

     On being questioned by the Division Bench the Sr. AAG S.S. Nanda appearing for Housing and Urban development Department submitted that Ram Pal is not holding the post of Managing Director as on date. However Advocate S.S. Ahmed referred to para 12 of the Status report wherein it was stated that Ram Pal then MD is presently working as Secretary J&K Housing Board.

    Advocate S.S. Ahmed also invited the attention of the Division Bench towards the forwarding of draft charge sheets by the Housing and Urban Development Department to the Commissioner / Secretary to Govt. of J&K PWD (R&B) with the request to serve the charge sheet upon the four Executive Engineers vide Communication No.HUD/HB/06/2014-II dated Nov. 12, 2016. Advocate Ahmed further pointed out that there is no head way in the Departmental Enquiry in the PWD (R&B) and appropriate directions are warranted for expediting the same.

     Advocate S.S. Ahmed also submitted that draft charge sheet was also forwarded by Housing and Urban Development Department to the Director General Accounts and treasuries with the request to serve the Charge sheet upon Kulbushan Kumar then FA / CAO.

   Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that directions are required to be issued to other Administrative Secretaries to file the updated status of the 147 department enquiries pending against various officers of the State Govt.

    The Division bench headed by Justice Alok Aradhe directed Commissioner Secretaries to Government of J&K Home Department, Forest Department, Co-operatives Department, Health and Medical Education Department, ARI 7 Trainings Department, J&K Special Tribunal and Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department to file the updated status of the pending departmental enquiries within 4 weeks.

     After detailed deliberations, the Division Bench directed Commissioner / Secretary, J&K Govt., Housing and Urban Development Department to shift Secretary J&K Housing Board, Ram Pal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit DGM Housing Unit II (J&K housing Board) Srinagar from their present positions till the conclusion of the regular departmental enquiry which has been initiated against the two delinquent officers. The Division Bench also directed Commissioner / Secretary to Govt. of J&K, Public Works Department to speed up the departmental enquiry against the four Executive Engineers namely Joginder Lal then DGM, Housing Board Jammu, Tarsem Lal then DGM, Housing Board Jammu, Bashir Ahmed Bhat then DGM, Housing Board Srinagar & G.H. Khanday then DGM, Housing Board Srinagar who were on deputation to Housing Board from R&B Department during the execution of the works.  The Division Bench also directed Director General Accounts and Treasuries to file the status of the departmental enquiry initiated against Kulbushan Kumar then FA/CAO J&K Housing Board who was on deputation to Housing Board from Director General Accounts and Treasuries (Finance Department) during the time of execution of the works.

    Looking into public interest involved in the matter, the Division Bench directed the registry to list this PIL after 4 weeks. (CNS)