22 Cr Land Scam: Govt Nod Sought For Prosecution of 75

SRINAGAR: State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) Friday said it will seek sanction from the state government for prosecution of 75 persons, including some senior government officials, involved in the embezzlement of Rs 22 crore meant for land acquisition for widening of National highway at Lethpora in Pulwama district. 

"The investigation of high profile land scandal has been finalised against 75 officers and officials including Bank employees and private persons in record time and referred to State Vigilance Commission before sending it to the government for accord of sanction for launching prosecution," a spokesman of the SVO said today. 

As part of North-South Corridor programme,  Project Director, National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), Project Implementation Unit, Jammu had placed an indent for acquisition of land along National Highway from 2 to 4 laning of NH-1A from KM 256 to KM 280 (Banihal to Srinagar).    

National Highway Development Project  was to be executed on the basis of Build-Operate-Transfer basis. This stipulates 80 per cent of land required for Highway widening is to be acquired by NHAI.

The  land acquisition for  National Highway -1A four lanning in village Lethpora and adjacent villages was required to be made under Land Acquisition Act and compensation amount was to be disbursed among concerned eligible beneficiaries/ land owners in accordance with the award made in this regard under the Act. 

It was found that during the year 2009 and 2010 the misappropriation of compensation amounting to over twenty crore rupees(20 crore) meant for disbursement among the eligible beneficiaries of four lanning National Highway in village Lethpora and adjacent villages was committed in J&K Bank Branch Lethpora.

The accounts in the name of  Collector Land Acquisition National Highway (Additional Deputy Commissioner, Pulwama) were opened in the J&K Bank Branch Lethpora through which all the fraudulent drawls by resorting to manipulation of records through dubious means with criminal intent to misappropriate the compensation amount of over twenty two crore (22 crore) dishonestly been made.

On receipt of directions from Govt., Vigilance Organisation registered case FIR No 37/2010  u/s 5(1) (c) , 5(1) (d), 5(2) J&K P.C Act, 2006 and 120-B 409, 468 471 RPC in P/S VOK, and took up the investigation on priority.

The officers/officials of Revenue Deptt District Pulwama and J&K Bank Branch Lethpora   including Adil Rashid Naqash, then Addl. Deputy Commissioner Pulwama, Parvez Ahmad Indrabi, Office Superintendent, Nazir Ahmad Mir, Manager J&K Bank Lethpora and others by abuse of their official positions in conspiracy with non officials namely Showkat Ahmad Dar resident of Zinipora Chadoora, Farooq Jehanzeb of Awantipora misappropriated compensation amount of over Rs twenty two Crore (22 Crore)  thereby resulting in loss to the state exchequer.

Soon after the registration of the case, the information was shared with Govt. The Govt. after conducting the formal enquiry dismissed Addl. DC Pulwama from Govt. services who was the prime accused in the case.

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