Court returns final report to ACB on Lanker

Excelsior Correspondent

JAMMU, Oct 9: Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir RN Wattal has expressed dissatisfaction over the closure report filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau against former IAS officer Naseema Lanker.
“Corruption is an enemy of nation and tracking down corrupt public servant, howsoever high he may be, and punishing such person is a necessary mandate under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988”, court said, adding “the status or position of public servant does not qualify such public servant from exemption from equal treatment. The decision making power does not segregate corrupt officers into two classes as they are common crime doers and have to be tracked down by the same process of inequity and investigation”.
Court further observed, “as per the law laid down in the judgment passed by Apex Court sanctioning authority cannot deny sanction to prosecute a public servant indicated by investigating agency arbitrarily without assigning reasons”, adding “this discretionary power has to be exercised by competent authority in conformity with statutory provisions and broader principles laid down in the Constitution”.
“The order of declining the sanction in the present case is an exhibition of arbitrariness on part of competent authority and needs to be reconsidered. However, the Government officials indicated by the investigating agency have retired and sanction to prosecute in case of retired public servants is absolutely not required and any direction to competent authority to reconsider the order declining the sanction in the present case would be a futile exercise”, the court said, adding “the material on file being incriminating against the accused as indicated by investigating agency in the final report warrant direction to investigating agency to consider the presentation of the charge sheet against the accused public servants in the court of competent jurisdiction on the basis of material available”.
Accordingly, the final report was returned to ACB Kashmir through CPO to do needful in light of these observations.
The FIR No. 02/2002 for offences under Prevention of Corruption Act was outcome of preliminary enquiry conducted into the allegations of the complaint that Naseema Lanker and Nissar Ahmad affected purchases of wind cheaters, trucking shoes and torches for distribution among the employees deputed for Amarnath Yatra on exorbitant rates from unregistered dealers leading to loss of Rs 6.11 lakh to the Government exchequer.