As Durbar opens in valley, will CM Mehbooba weed-out 86 corrupt officers?

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Bharti Jasrotia

With civil secretariat opening in Srinagar today, all eyes are on Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti under whose administration a list of 86 corrupt officers has been prepared who are likely to be shown the door.

Sources told Newspoint Bureau that the list contain names of KAS officers, employees of corporations, top officials of PHE, PWD and PDD departments serving as well as those who are either been attached or are working in other departments on the equivalent post. Sources further told Newspoint Bureau that the names have been finalized after going through the in-depth enquiry conducted by state vigilance commission into the complaints of corruption against these officers.

They added that list has been prepared by taking into account possibility of those being shown the door approaching court of law. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had strictly instructed all the departments not to come up with half baked stories but give names of all the corrupt officers only if they have credible evidence to back it, said the sources.

They maintained that the process of preparing the list was started immediately after Mehbooba Mufti to cover as Chief Minister as of Jammu and Kashmir. They further said that not even one department was spared and all were told together ample evidence against the corrupt officers.

“Let us not show any relaxation towards corrupt officers and inefficient officials. Let all of them be taken to task for the acts of omission and commission. Let there be no space for showing any relaxation. Let us not allow those who looted the state exchequer to live without any fear of them being penalized”, what Chief Minister is believed to have been told.

She further told the officers not to even spare her close relatives and friends if they are found involved in any mischief or corrupt practice. ”I am not going to recommend relaxation in any case. No corrupt would be tolerated. They are looting public money and not something which is any personal,” Mehbooba Mufti told GAD officials during a meeting in Jammu prior to Darbar move. According to the reliable sources, the list contains the names of several high profile doctors.

If the sources are to be believed, the new list includes names of officials who have cases pending in the vigilance and the crime branch. Prominent officials against whom cases of corruption, extortion, abuse of official position and disproportionate assets are pending include police officer Ramesh Kumar Bhat, Tehsildar Narayan Singh, ex-Tehsildar Reasi Kunal Sharma, ex-Mission Director NRHM Dr.Yashpal Sharma, ex-Naib-Tehsildar Nagrota Kalyan Singh, ex-Tehsildar Agrarian Reforms Samba Omkar Saini and ex-Director Rural Development Ghulam Nabi Balwan.

Though it is not confirmed that these officials are in the list but the fact remains that they have serious cases of corruption pending against him. Ex-Executive Engineer Sita Ram Dogra is facing a serious case of works having been allotted to blue-eyed contractors without inviting tenders. Ex-CEO Doda Yog Raj Thusoo despite having retired is still facing the case of purchase of fire extinguishers.

It is likely that state government would recommend for stopping payment of pension to Thusoo till the time his name is not cleared in this case. Ex-DFO Udhampur A.K.Gupta and M.K.Kohli are accused in case of misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs.8.5 Lakhs. Ex-Director Urban Local Bodies Faqir Chand Bhagat continues to be under probe for having made several illegal appointments.

Ex-Relief Commissioner Vinod Koul is facing a serious case of auction of scrap on lower rates. He has been booked in this case in the year 2007. Dr. Hemla Aggarwal was booked in the case of purchase of software at the exorbitant rates. She was then Principal of Government Commerce College. Ex-DySP Ramnagar Manesh Aggarwal is facing a case of extortion of bribe in lieu of release of complainant and his son involved in the suicide case registered against them.

Ex-Director Information Mukhtar-ul-Aziz is yet to be even touched despite having been accused of having made fraudulent payments to tune of Rs.1 crore in the year 2010 to non-entitled eight beneficiaries towards undue compensation in respect of non-existing shops. Tariq Ahmed Qadri, ex-Divisional Manager of SFC has been accused of abusing the official position by manipulating the official records of state forest corporation (SFC).

There are more than seven IAS officers against whom cases are under investigation with state vigilance organisation but since they are governed by central laws, taking action against them is neither being considered nor it would be wise, said a source. Now, the question is when will the PDP-BJP government unveil the much awaited second list.

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