JAMMU, Apr 3: In the much publicized Public Interest Litigation highlighting Rs 27 crore scam in J&K Housing Board, Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice Tashi Rabstan has directed the Advocate General Jehangir Iqbal Ganai to file fresh status report within two weeks with regard to the action taken against the delinquent officials—Rampal Sharma, the then Managing Director and Aftab Rashid Pandit, the then DGM against whom the enquiry officer had established the charges of financial mismanagement and violation of codal formalities in the execution of works.
When the PIL came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan and Suraj Singh appearing for the petitioners invited the attention of the Division Bench to the Action Taken Report (ATR) filed by Financial Commissioner, Housing and Urban Development Department wherein it was disclosed that competent authority has decided to impose major penalty of debarring further promotions of Rampal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit for their various acts of omission and commission.
“Show cause notices have been issued by the H&UDD to the delinquent officials Rampal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit requiring them to submit their written defence within 10 days before imposition of major penalty in terms of Rule 30 of J&K Classification, Control and Appeal Rules, 1956”, Advocate Ahmed said, adding “since the period of two weeks has already expired, the Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Department be directed to file a fresh status report”.
At this stage, Advocate General Jehangir Iqbal Ganai with Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma and Government Advocate Ahtsham Bhat submitted that before imposition of major penalty on the delinquent officers/officials, the procedure prescribed under law is to be followed and Advocate General prayed for two weeks time to file fresh status report with regard to the steps taken against the delinquent officials.
The Advocate General further submitted that the costs as directed by this court vide order dated March, 12, 2018 have been deposited by the State Government.
Advocate Ahmed also drew the attention of the Division Bench towards the non-filing of response by Commissioner Secretary General Administration Department and Principal Secretary Home Department to the Miscellaneous Petition wherein the Division Bench vide its order dated February, 22, 2018 had issued notices for filing reply within two weeks.
It is pertinent to mention here that Miscellaneous Petition has been filed with the prayer for issuance of appropriate directions to the Chief Secretary, GAD and Home Department to initiate disciplinary proceedings against two IPS Officers of J&K Cadre namely Atul Goel and Anand Jain, both former SSPs Jammu for misusing/abusing their official position by providing undue security cover to Kewal Kumar Sharma, Forest Guard turned Additional PRO to the then Deputy Chief Minister.
Advocate General prayed for and was granted three weeks time to file objections to the Miscellaneous Petition on behalf of GAD/Home Departments.