Fighting corruption: Officer involved in Multi-Crore scam bags prized posting
An officer allegedly involved in a Multi-Crore scam has yet again bagged a prized posting, weeks after Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed Commissioner Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department to shift him.
On 11 of this month, a Division Bench of the State High Court (Jammu) comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice B.S. Walia directed Commissioner / Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department to shift Secretary J&K Housing Board, Ram Pal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit DGM Housing Unit II (J&K housing Board) Srinagar from their present positions till the conclusion of the regular departmental enquiry which has been initiated against the two ‘delinquent’ officers.
Officers, according to the petitioner had executed works both in Jammu and Srinagar on extraneous considerations and created liabilities worth Rs.27.60 crore.
However, surprisingly Aftab Rashid Pandit (DGM Housing Unit II (J&K housing Board) yet again bagged a prized posting while as Rampal Sharma-Secretary J&K Housing Board has been asked to report at Housing and Urban Development Department for further posting.
Order, a copy of which lies with ‘Kashmir Vision’ reads that both the officers are transferred with immediate effect till the completion of departmental enquiry initiated against them.
Highly placed sources said that Aftab Rashid Pandit was awarded prized posting because he enjoys proximity with some BJP and PDP Ministers who left no stone unturned to shield him.
Directions were passed in much publicized Public Interest Litigation (PIL) titled Sheikh Muhammad Shafi and another Vs Union of India and others wherein the petitioners are seeking prosecution of the tainted officers under J&K Prevention of Corruption Act and also directions to the GAD to accord sanction for prosecution against the higher ups involved in various scams.
In the contempt petition it has been submitted that pursuant to RTI disclosure it came to fore that former Minister for Housing Raman Bhalla in league with then I/c Managing Director Jammu Kashmir Housing Board Ram Pal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit DGM Housing Unit II (J&K housing Board) Srinagar got several works executed both in Jammu and Srinagar purely on extraneous considerations and actuated with malafide exercise of power.
The petition further says that the then acting MD Housing Board Ram Pal Sharma carried out all the illegal orders and directions of the then Minister which resulted in creation of liabilities worth Rs.27.60 crore.