Court orders vigilance probe against GDC Principal in multi-crore purchases

Jehangir Rashid
SRINAGAR, May 1:  Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir, Aijaz Ahmad Mir, has directed State Vigilance Organization (SVO) Kashmir wing to initiate investigations against Dr. Riyaz Farooq, Principal Government Dental College, Srinagar in multi-crore purchase scandal that surfaced in the GDC last month.
Taking cognizance of a complaint lodged by one Tanveer Hussain Khan through his counsel Shahid Ahmad Ronga, the Special Judge Anti-Corruption Kashmir in his order directed Senior Superintendent of Police, Vigilance to take up the investigation of the case relating to multi-crore purchase scandal at Government Dental College, Srinagar.
“Senior Superintendent of Police, Vigilance Organization Kashmir is directed to take up the investigation of the case in terms of Section 156 (3) Criminal Procedure Code and intimate this court about the final outcome of the investigation. Senior Superintendent of Police is further directed that while conducting the investigation he shall give audience to both the parties as mandated by the law and thereafter conclude the investigation of the case on merits,” wrote the Judge in his order.
The complainant filed the complaint under Section 156 (3) of Criminal Procedure Code and prayed for the directions to the State Vigilance Organization to register an FIR against the accused Dr. Riyaz Farooq, Principal GDC-Srinagar. The complainant, who recorded his statement before the Judge also prayed for initiation of the action as per law against the accused.
It is in place to mention here that under Section 156 any officer in charge of a police station may, without the order of a Magistrate, investigate any cognizable case which a court having jurisdiction over the local area within the limits of such station which would have power to inquire into the matter.
Under this section no proceeding of a police officer in any such case shall at any stage be called into question on the ground that the case was one, which such officer was not empowered under this section to investigate.
It may be recalled here that the GDC authorities have purchased medical equipment worth crores of rupees at higher rates than quoted by the company from which they purchased it. Interestingly, the rates quoted for the equipment by this company were very less as compared with the rates actually paid by the GDC authorities, both at Srinagar and Jammu.
The revelations about the scandal came to the fore after the Medical Superintendent, (Public Information Officer) GDC responded to the Right to Information (RTI) application moved by Tanveer Hussain Khan.
In his reply, the PIO said that GDC, Srinagar purchased digital panoramic X-ray machine model and make of ORTHOPOS XG 5 DS CEPH-Single Sensor (AERB approved) Rs. 46, 80, 000 lakh. The machine was supplied to the GDC, Srinagar by VILLA India, New Delhi.
The RTI applicant compared the rates paid by the GDC authorities with the one being offered by the same company. He found a difference of Rs. 26, 00, 000 lakh between the actual purchases made and the rates offered.
The PIO in his reply said that the GDC, Srinagar purchased eight complete vertical rack sterilization systems from VILLA India, New Delhi from time to time. The difference between the actual price and the amount paid was around Rs. 50, 00, 000 for eight systems.


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