Vigilance under pressure; Ex-Speakers to not be punished?


Jammu, November 06:  Justice Tashi Rabstan in the open court on Thursday expressed his concern over much publicized petition of the recruitment scam surfaced early this year and said that the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) has neglected the issue. He also directed the vigilance department to sought Action Taken Report (ATR) indicating the steps taken after July 6, 2015 when the status report establishing recruitment scam was filed in the High Court.

As per reports in a local daily, the scam involves three former speakers of State Legislative Assembly who alleged of making  backdoor appointments  of 37 favourite candidates. A report of SVO was flied on July 6, 2015 that said that three ex-speakers of LA namely Mohd Akbar Lone, Tara Chand and Mubarak Gul during their tenure made 68, 5, 4 illegal appointments.

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The petition was filed by Prof S K Bhalla who drew attention of the J&K High Court through his lawyer, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed to the detailed order passed by the State High Court on April, 16, 2015 in which court had disagreed with the closure report of the SVO. The court has also formulated two points for preliminary enquiry into the matter particularly to ascertain as to the manner in which each one of the 37 posts were filled up and whether the posts were filled up as per the procedure prescribed under applicable rules.

The State vigilance Organisation followed the order and filed a a detailed status report on July 6, 2015 . The report said that illegal/backdoor appointments were made of 37 people by the three former Speakers of the State Legislative Assembly namely Mohd Akbar Lone, Tara Chand and Mubarak Gul into various newly created vacancies in the Legislative Assembly Secretariat.

As per sources, after July 6, 2015, no further progress was made in this regard. It has been alleged that the involved influential political personalities of the State has pressurized the not to proceed further and the matter is gathering dust in the SVO.

Advocate Ahmed further submitted that the SVO should have immediately lodged an FIR against these three former speakers according to the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act read with Criminal Procedure Code and Vigilance Manual but the matter was kept pending on the plea for no valid reason that the court is seized of the matter.

The Advocate Ahmed furthur states that vigilance organisation now owes an  an explanation to the court as to what steps were taken in the matter particularly when the preliminary enquiry was completed in July 2015 establishing prima facie an employment racket in the Assembly Secretariat.

Considering the submissions of Advocate Ahmed, Justice Tashi Rabstan, in the open court, pulled up State Vigilance Organization and put a specific query to AAG PC Sharma as to what action was initiated by the SVO after filing the status report on July 6, 2015.
AAG submitted that the SVO will proceed strictly as per Vigilance Manual and will place the action taken before the court. Upon this, Justice Tashi Rabstan directed AAG PC Sharma appearing for State Vigilance Organization to file Action Taken Report (ATR) indicating the steps taken by the SVO particularly after July 6, 2015 when status report establishing recruitment scam in Legislative Assembly was filed in the State High Court.