DB directives in Rajouri Development Authority scam

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Feb 17: Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Bansi Lal Bhat today directed AAG P C Sharma appearing for State Vigilance Organization to produce the records of preliminary enquiry whereby it had recommended Regular Departmental Action (RDA) against the delinquent public servants Mohammad Javed Khan, the then Chief Executive Officer, Rajouri Development Authority, Khushal Chand, the then Executive Engineer, Devi Dass Heer, Executive Engineer and Gurcharan Singh, Junior Engineer Rajouri Development Authority.
Division Bench also issued directions in the open court that the records so produced be shown to the counsel for the petitioner Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed before the next date of hearing– March, 2, 2016.
When this much publicized Public Interest Litigation filed by Prof S K Bhalla came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocate Rahul Raina appearing for the petitioner submitted that he has already perused the records of verification No.31/2009 pertaining to the Rajouri Development Authority scam but the SVO has not shown him the records pertaining to verification No.13/2009 which was closed by the SVO on July, 3, 2015 by recommending departmental action against the delinquent public servants.
Advocate Ahmed further submitted that like verification No.31/2009, the SVO also closed verification No.13/2009 arbitrarily by recommending regular departmental action when the case was fit for registration of FIR under Section 5(2) Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 against the suspect public servants. He read in the open court a copy of the SVO’s communication No.VO-Veri-PR-13/2009-9835-36 dated July 3, 2015 wherein the SVO clearly mentioned that the service tax which was due to the Government exchequer as calculated by finance expert of VOJ comes to the tune of Rs.1,93,915.
“Instead of registering an FIR in the matter the SVO just to shield the high profile officers changed the complexion of the case and illegally observed that no criminal misconduct on the part of the suspect public servants surfaced”, he further said, adding “this was not a case of irregularities as concluded by SVO and the influential public servants were let of from the dragnet of law and an escape route was devised by SVO by recommending regular departmental action”.
On the other hand, AAG P C Sharma appearing for SVO submitted that he will also produce the records pertaining to verification No.13/ 2009 on the next date of hearing.
Advocate Gagan Basotra appearing for Mohd Javed Khan, the then Chief Executive Officer, Rajouri Development Authority submitted that SVO was justified in recommending departmental action in both the verifications as criminality was not detected by SVO during the verification. However, Advocate Ahmed while rebutting his arguments submitted that as per settled law accused has no right to be heard at the time of registration of FIR.
After hearing both the sides, the Division Bench directed AAG P C Sharma appearing for State Vigilance Organization to produce the records of preliminary enquiry No.13/2009. He was also directed that the records so produced be shown to Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed before the adjourned date of hearing— March 2, 2016.

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