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HC directs report on multi-crore PHE scam

16 PHE Engineers under suspension

Fayaz Bukhari
SRINAGAR, Feb 9: The State High Court has granted three week’s time to investigating agency to submit the inquiry report about the infamous multi-crore scam in Public Health Engineering Department.
Time has been granted after the State Counsel submitted before the Court that Director General, Audit and Inspections, J&K, is very vigorously conducting inquiry and that it shall be concluded by the end of this month.
She also stated that the status of regular inquiry will be submitted within three weeks before the court. An application for extension of the time was moved by the State for concluding and submitting the inquiry report before the court.
“Extension of time sought in the application in hand, has already been granted herein above”, Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur said and disposed off the application and ordered the matter be listed after three weeks.
The multi-crore embezzlement of public exchequer was unearthed in PHE department of Handwara Division way back in the year 2014 and immediately a PIL was filed before the court seeking probe into the scam and brought under book the erring officials.
In compliance of earlier court directions the department of Public Health Engineering has placed its 16 officials  from the rank of Executive Engineer to Junior Engineer under suspension as they were found involved in irregularities and embezzlement of crores of rupees NRDWP scandal.
The officer who have been placed under suspension are Fida Hussain Wazir, the then EE, Mohammad Afzal Rather the then I/C EE, Iftikhar Ahmad Wani, the then I/C EE, Qazi Mushtaq Ahmad, the then I/C AEE, Abdul Majid Mir, the then I/C AEE, Abdul Aziz Wani, the then I/C AE, Mohammad Maqbool Lone, the then I/C AE, Ghulam Hassan Mir, the then AE, Bashir Ahmad Dar, the then JE, Showkat Dar, the then JE, Ghulam Mohammad Bhat, the then JE, Mohammad Amin Malik, the then JE, Abdul Majid Wani the then I/C JE, Ghulam Mohammad Sheikh, the then JE and Ghulam Nabi Hajam, the then JE.
The suspension order of these officers adds that the matter being of utmost public importance and Division Bench of High Court is very closely monitoring this aspect on regular basis.
“These officers have remained posted in the division, so their role needs to be enquired into and necessitate their detachment from the active duties by invoking of Rule 31 J&K CSR for a fair and impartial enquiry”, suspension order further read.
Authorities in pursuance of said rules due to pendency of enquiry against them has placed these officials under suspension with immediate effect and attached them CE I&FC.
Court has also been apprised about the investigation conducted by the Crime Branch Srinagar in FIR No. 91/2014 and subsequent arrest of the accused persons by them in the case who were found involved in the scam by the investigating agency.
In this connection records seized by the CB has been sent to the forensic science laboratory to seek the scientific opinion regarding involvement of accused persons in the scam.

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