SrinagarThe Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed an order by Superintendent of Police Vigilance Organization Kashmir, attaching property of a woman whose husband was allegedly involved in a scam involving misappropriation of compensation amount of over Rs 20 crores meant for disbursement among the land owners of four lanning Highway in village Lethapora and adjacent villages in 2009-10.
As per the VOK, its investigation revealed that the womans husband had raised many immovable assets from the misappropriated government funds and included a palatial two storey house on one Kanal and 14 marlas of land at Iqbal Colony Rawalpora in the name of wife.
Advocate G.A Lone, womans counsel questioned the power of the Superintendent of Police Vigilance Organization with reference to passing of the prohibitory and attachment order of the property as being not authorized to do so in terms of Section 8(B) of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act Svt. 2006.
He said the woman purchased the land out of her own funds in 2008 as was evident from the extracts of Jamabandi and Girdawari.
He said that statement o f VoK that the womans husband has purchased land measuring one Kanal 14 Marla in the name of his wife and constructed a palatial house over it and the money for the purpose has been found channeled from the misappropriated amount was vague with no details provided in regard to the period of purchase, including month or the year in which the land was purchased.
He said that the power to seize or attach the property can be effected by the Investigating Officer who shall not be below the rank of Superintendent of Vigilance.
Now, as per final report submitted in the court of competent jurisdiction, the investigation has been conducted by Dy. SP, therefore, the Superintendent of Police had no occasion to investigate the matter and come to a reasoned belief that a particular property regarding which investigation was being conducted had been acquired by criminal mis-conduct, a bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey said.
It is only Superintendent of Police investigating the case who, when has reasons to believe that the property under reference was liable to be attached thereunder, can make such order. The present Superintendent of Police had not investigated the case, how then and wherefrom did he derive reason to believe that the house in question has been acquired by criminal misconduct within meaning of S. 5 of the P. C Act, the court said and quashed the order passed in 2011. Resultantly,the property attached shall stand released, the court added.
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