4 JKAS Officers Among 8 Fired For Graft, Misconduct

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Srinagar: In a major drive against tainted officials in the administration, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday sacked eight employees, including four Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officers on charges of corruption.

According to the official sources, the LG led dispensation invoked Article 226 (2) of the Jammu Kashmir Civil Service Regulations and terminated eight senior employees including four JKAS Officers for alleged corruption and misconduct.

Article 226 (2) of the Jammu Kashmir Civil Service Regulations gives government power to retire an employee after completion of 22 years of qualifying service or attaining 48 years of age in public interest.

Well placed official sources told Kashmir Observer that Ravinder Kumar Bhat, Mission Director, RUSA indulged in corruption during his posting in different departments. The then vigilance department, now, Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), had registered a corruption case against him in 2015.

"As the then Assistant Commissioner, Revenue, Budgam, Bhat was involved in irregular transfer of state land under Roshni Scheme and arbitrarily fixed the price of land lower than the prevailing market rate of the area and also incorrect application of rates, unauthorized change of classification of land from residential to agriculture etc. The officer while acting in league with the beneficiaries inflicted huge monetary loss to the government. Sanction prosecution was accorded against the officer in October 2019," sources said.

It is learnt that the officer was also involved in another corruption case when he was posted as a Director of the Rural Development Department. He allegedly made huge procurement without following the tender process. A joint surprise check by ACB had revealed the malpractices.

"The officer is also involved in cases related to embezzlement/ misappropriation which inter-alia casts doubt on the functioning of the officer and his abilities with regard to dealing of financial responsibilities," sources further added.

Another Officer dismissed on charges of corruption and misconduct is Mohammad Qasim Wani, JKAS, Regional Director, Survey and Land Records, Srinagar.

Sources said Wani as District Programme Officer, ICDS, Kupwara had procured substandard material on highly exorbitant rates for ICDS project. An FIR under prevention of corruption act was filed against Wani. Sanction for prosecution was accorded by the government in 2020 and a charge sheet has been filed against him by ACB before the trial court.

“Wani had purchased huge properties in the name of his wife. He has made a fortune misusing official positions, clearly indicating his doubtful integrity," sources said.

Noor Alam, Deputy Secretary, ARI & Training Department has also been dismissed after scrutiny of corruption cases of the tainted employee. During his posting in different departments, Alam amassed huge wealth, misusing his official position.

ACB had registered a case against Alam in 2019 to investigate his illegal assets and subsequently attached four of his properties- A house in Jammu, A plot measuring 10 marlas in Jammu, A plot of land measuring 3 kanals in Jammu and another plot measuring 10 marlas in Jammu.

“Apart from these assets, he has raised various other properties in the name of his wife and other family members and also owns several vehicles including commercial vehicles.”

An employee, Mohammad Mujibur Rehman Ghassi, JKAS, who has been dismissed is currently under suspension. Ghassi during his tenure in the Cooperative Department had allegedly facilitated a loan amount of Rs. 223 Crore in favor of a non-existent Cooperative Society, these sources said.

Sources said the government has also expedited the identification of officials facing corruption charges and wrongdoings.

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