Fate of investigation, trial in Roshni scam, other cases hanging in balance

*Lack of coordination exposes tall claims on transparent admn

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Feb 27: Shocking it may sound but it is a fact that lack of coordination between different organs of the State Government on the deep-rooted menace of corruption has created road-block in taking investigation and trial in the much-publicized Roshni land scam and other cases to the logical conclusion. Due to this, all the accused officers and officials have not only remained unpunished but are also holding key positions in the administration.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that vide Letter No.VO-FIR-Stay-1129-30 dated January 22, 2016 the State Vigilance Organization brought to the notice of the General Administration Department the stay orders passed by the High Court in vigilance cases.
As there was no response from the General Administration Department, the State Vigilance Organization again dashed Letter No.VO-FIR-Stay-4678-79 dated March 16, 2016 to the GAD highlighting the urgency to get the stay orders issued by the High Court vacated or modified.
Astonishingly, these two communiqués addressed to the Commissioner/ Secretary to Government, General Adminis-tration Department failed to receive the required attention and non-serious approach sent a clear message that there was no seriousness in getting the accused officers and officials punished, sources regretted.
As delay in taking corruption related cases to logical conclusion led to criticism of State Vigilance Organization at each and every forum, the Deputy Director Prosecution in the State Vigilance Organization on December 21, 2016 once again brought to the notice of General Administration Department the urgency of prompt action in getting the stay orders vacated.
“Needless to mention that a large number of cases in which orders of stay have been passed are of great importance from public point of view”, reads the communication No.VO-FIR-Stay-17369 dated December 21, 2016, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR.
Through this letter the General Administration Department was informed that orders of stay have also been passed in cases like Roshni land scam and Advocate General should be requested for making the requisite motions before the High Court for early vacation of stay orders so that Vigilance Organization was able to proceed further in the cases which are pending for proper disposal as warranted under law.
It is pertinent to mention here that in 26 cases—15 registered in Jammu and 11 in Kashmir, the investigation/ proceedings by the State Vigilance Organization have been stayed by the High Court. Similarly, in 18 cases—14 in Jammu and 4 in Kashmir trial court proceedings have been stayed by the High Court.
After third communication, the General Administration Department woke up from the deep slumber and vide letter dated December 30, 2016 sent a note to the Law Department stressing the need of asking Advocate General to initiate steps for vacation of stay orders as was repeatedly asked for by the State Vigilance Organization, sources said, adding this step on the part of General Administration Department was also conveyed to the State Vigilance Organization officially.
“However, what happened thereafter remains a mystery and State Vigilance Organization has not been conveyed about the steps initiated by the Law Department on its concern being raised continuously during the past over one year”, sources said.
“All the accused involved in these 44 cases have remained unpunished mainly because of lack of coordination between General Administration Department, Law Department and State Vigilance Organization”, sources regretted, adding “failure to get stay orders vacated has made it clear that Government is not taking seriously the deep-rooted menace of corruption”.
As per the details available with EXCELSIOR, the FIRs whose proceedings were stayed by the High Court were lodged during the period between 2012 and 2016. The shocking aspect is that proceedings before the trial court were stayed by the High Court during the period between 2010 and 2016 but no serious efforts were made during all these years to get the interim orders vacated or modified.
“It seems that present dispensation only believes in issuing statements about providing corruption free administration to the people otherwise there was no justification behind not approaching the High Court for vacation of interim orders”, sources said, adding “High Court cannot on its own vacant the orders unless the Law Officers make motions before it with relevant record and details”.