SVO hushed up Rajouri Development Authority scam: Petitioner


Seeks action against erring officers, reopening of the scam

RAJOURI: Prof. S.K. Bhalla  has filed writ petition seeking quashing of communication No.VO-Veri-PR-31/2009-8497-98 Dated June 10, 2015 to the extent that the then Director Vigilance, State Vigilance Organization converted an FIR into a censure just to shield some public servants allegedly involved in bungling and abuse of official position while performing their duties at Rajouri Development Authority.

In the petition it is alleged that SVO had received inputs with regard to bungling in the Rajouri Development Authority and initiated Verification No.31/2009 and after completion of verification it was established that some public servants were allegedly involved in acts of omission and commission which resulted in loss to the State Exchequer.

The findings of verification were forwarded to the then Director Vigilance Sheikh Owais Ahmed (IPS) who after being satisfied with regard to the verification conducted granted approval for registration of a formal case under J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 vide his No.VO-Veri-PR-31/09-4668 dated March, 26, 2015 against the suspect public servants for in-depth investigation and not only this the then Director Vigilance also directed SSP (PR) Vigilance Organization Jammu to furnish draft FIR in the matter so as to proceed further.

It is further averred in the petition that despite the approval for registration of FIR the case was not registered as the suspect public servants apprehending their prosecution exerted undue influence upon the functionaries of SVO and the established case of corruption was converted into censure vide No.VO-Veri-PR-31/2009-849798 dated June, 10, 2015 which clearly reflects messy affairs in the premier investigating agency of the State and also shows that the officers in the said Organization are prone to outside pressure.

The petitioner has further alleged that the instant case is just a tip of the ice-berg about the unfair working of SVO as whenever a big fish is caught, the matters are buried either by recommending Regular Departmental Action (RDA) or censure and children of lesser God are booked for criminal prosecution. It is further stated that the petitioner has reliably learnt that the then Director Vigilance Sheikh Owais Ahmed (IPS) got superannuated on June, 30, 2015 and the present case was converted from FIR to censure on June, 10, 2015 under his seal and signatures and the same Director has approved registration of formal case against the suspect public servants on March, 26, 2015 and what transpired between March, 26, 2015 to June, 10, 2015 is a million dollar question and needs to be thoroughly investigated.

The petitioner has also alleged that he has come to know that there was free for all situation in SVO during the preceding three months prior to the superannuation of Sheikh Owais Ahmed and the petitioner has already moved an RTI Application seeking entire records of the outcome of the Verifications/PEs during the last three months when aforesaid Director was in service and the petitioner has inputs that various established cases of corruption against high-ups were buried under the carpet for oblique considerations by the said Director for his future prospects and all this is a matter of inquest.

The petitioner has sought re-opening of the whole scam and immediate directions to the SVO to register a formal FIR in the matter in view of the approval already granted vide communication No.VO-Veri-PR-31/09/4668 dated March, 26, 2015 and the petitioner has also prayed to the Court to monitor the investigation till the same is finalized as the suspect public servants are highly influential and can derail the investigation by exerting undue pressure.

The petitioner has further alleged that one of the prime suspects in the scam is Mohammad Javed Khan (IAS) the then Chief Executive Officer, Rajouri Development Authority and presently Deputy Commissioner, Kishtwar. The petitioner has also prayed that names of other suspect Public Servants be also made public and be forwarded to the Chief Secretary of the State who is heading the Committee for identifying deadwoods.

The petitioner has prayed that Chief Secretary and Secretary GAD be directed to initiate high level probe against the erring officers of SVO who for oblique considerations tried to shield the suspect public servants by issuing censure when already approval for registration of FIR was granted by the then Director Vigilance. (CNS)

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