JAMMU, Aug 12: Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir C L Bavoria has set-aside the order passed by Commissioner/ Secretary to Government General Administrative Department (Designated Authority under Sub Section 1(a) of Section 2 of Prevention of Corruption Act) whereby attachment of the property of the then Deputy Director, J&K Economics & Statistics Noor Mohammad Wani in terms of Order No. SSP/ACB/FIR-18/2019- 3707 dated 19.10.2020 has been confirmed and upheld.
“I do not hesitate to state that the Designated Authority has not functioned with independence and impartiality. The impugned order appears an outcome of unfair procedure. The Designated Authority seems to have considered the case of the investigating officer and placed an exclusive reliance on the material produced by him which action cannot be said beyond the act of it an arbitrary and discriminatory taken in utter violation of the principle of natural justice”, Special Judge said.
“Moreover, the order was passed without making a full and fair enquiry into the matter in controversy before him and adequate opportunity of being heard to the appellant to rebut the evidence to meet the case against him and which action of the Designated Authority vitiate the whole enquiry conducted by him”, the court said.
As per the FIR registered by Anti-Corruption Bureau, the accused/appellant has acquired properties disproportionate to his known source of income and the IO having reason to believe that the property under investigation has been acquired by the accused by resorting to acts of commission and omission which constitute an offence of criminal misconduct u/s 5(1)(e) r/w 5(2) of the Act and that there is every likelihood that accused may alienate the alleged therein or otherwise deal with these properties to defeat the prosecution of the case, the IO respondent – SSP invoked the provision of Section 8(B) of the Act passed the attachment order therein prohibiting the appellant not to sell or transfer the property.
The IO on obtaining the approval submitted report to the Designating Authority (Commissioner Secretary GAD) for confirmation/affirmation as same being the requirement of law as envisaged in PC Act.