Appointment of Chairman BOSE: Court Reserves Orders

Jammu: The Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Chief Justice M.M. Kumar and Justice Tashi Rabstan reserved its orders over the controversial appointment of Prof. N.K. Resutra as Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education.

In a jam packed court the Division Bench after hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed for the PIL titled Sheikh Mohammad Shafi V/s Union of India & Others, Additional Advocate General Gagan Basotra for General Administrative Department and SVO, AAG Ravinder Sharma appearing for the School Education Department and Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Vaibhav Gupta for Prof. N.K. Resutra reserved the orders with regard to the appointment of Prof. N.K. Resutra as Chairman BOSE.

When the much publicized PIL came up for hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed drew the attention of the Division Bench to the affidavit filed by Secretary, Higher Education Department wherein it was stated that vide Govt. Order Number 381-HE of 2014 dated 23-07-2014 the enquiry against Prof. N.K. Resutra was withdrawn from the Commission of Inquiries and Director Colleges was appointed as Inquiry Officer. Muhammad Reyaz, Under Secretary Higher Education was appointed as Presenting Officer. However owing to some reasons the Project Director RUSA was appointed as Inquiry Officer vide Govt. Order Number 405-HE of 2014 dated 08-08-2014. The Project Director RUSA proceeded for Haj and it was thought prudent to modify the Government order for expeditious conclusion of the enquiry. Accordingly Mrs. Kiran Bakshi, Principal, Government College for Women, Gandhi Nagar, Jammu senior to the accused Officer was appointed as Inquiry Officer vide Govt. order No.456-HE of 2014 dated 30-09-2014. The affidavit of Secretary, Higher Education further said that the enquiry report was received by the Higher Education Department on October, 27, 2014 and the same was examined on re-opening of the offices at Jammu and examination of the enquiry report revealed that the Presenting Officer (Under Secretary, Higher Education Department) had not been summoned by the Inquiry Officer. Besides the accused officer had not been provided opportunity of oral enquiry. Further the inquiry officer had rendered findings only with regard to the excess payment in the purchase and installation of Wi-Fi system, when articles of charges served to the accused officer contained many more charges of irregularities and improper utilization of local funds of Government Degree College, Rajouri about which the inquiry officer had not made mention of. The matter was referred back to the enquiry officer for doing the needful and the inquiry officer has summoned the Presenting Officer as also the accused officer and it is expected that the complete enquiry report may be furnished within 10-15 days.

Advocate S.S. Ahmed according to CNS appearing for the petitioners submitted that since the enquiry was pending against Prof. N.K. Resutra as such his name should not have been considered for the coveted post of Chairman BOSE. He further submitted that in the light of the law laid down by the Apex Court in case titled Centre For PIL V/s Union of India in which Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Mr. P.C Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner in view of the pendency of a corruption case against him in the Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption at Thiruvantipuram on the ground that Mr. Thomas being accused in a corruption case should not have been appointed to the post of CVC and Apex Court further said that persons facing allegations of corruption/ disciplinary enquiry should not be given a public dealing post.

Advocate Ahmed further submitted that in the light of the pending enquiry wherein there are serious allegations of corruption and abuse of official position against Prof. Resutra, his continuation on the post of Chairman BOSE is against settled legal position and public interest. He also drew the attention of the D.B. towards the preliminary inquiry report filed by Director, SVO wherein Prof. N.K. Resutra was indicted for purchasing/installing Wi-Fi in Govt. Degree College, Rajouri at exorbitant rates for which SVO recommended regular departmental action and a loss of Rs.73,000/- was caused to the State Ex-chequer.

AAG Ravinder Sharma appearing for School Education Department fairly submitted that School Education Department had no knowledge about the pending enquiries against Prof. Resutra and after getting the knowledge the School Education Department has requested the Higher Education Department to provide complete details of enquiries being conducted against Prof. Resutra.

On the other hand Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Vaibhav Gupta appearing for Prof. N.K. Resutra vociferously argued that the instant PIL is targeted against Prof. N.K. Resutra and the Chairman BOSE was not found guilty by the SVO in its verification and only RDA (Regular Departmental Action) was recommended and that too for an item i.e. Wi-Fi which was purchased on the basis of the repeat orders of Principal, SPMR College of Commerce, Jammu. He further submitted that the Higher Education Department did not place on record the findings of the enquiry officer which have given a clean chit to Prof. Resutra.

After hearing both the sides at length the Division Bench reserved its orders in the Open Court. (CNS)

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