Govt receives MoEF sanction to prosecute serving IFS officer

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Feb 27: The State Government has received sanction from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to prosecute serving Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, who was involved in misappropriation of Rs 76 lakh. Now, the State Vigilance Organization (SVO) will present challan in the court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption as soon as the Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey gives the approval, which is expected within next few days.
Highly placed sources in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest told EXCELSIOR that after going through the details of the case registered by the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Organization against the IFS officer Farooq Ahmed Geelani in 2003 and request of the State Government seeking nod to go ahead with the presentation of challan against him in the court of law, the Ministry has accorded sanction to prosecute the officer.
“The sanction to prosecute IFS officer Farooq Ahmed Geelani, who is presently posted as Conservator of Forests, North Circle Kashmir has been conveyed to the State Government by Joint Secretary of MoEF Rajani Ranjan Rashmi”, sources said.
Meanwhile, sources in the Civil Secretariat said that now State Vigilance Organization will present challan against the officer in the Court of Special Judge Anti-corruption as soon as the Chief Secretary, Mohammad Iqbal Khandey gives approval, which is expected within next few days.
The case FIR No.38/39 of 2003 was registered against IFS officer under Section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act and Sections 467/471 and 120-B of RPC when he was posted as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Integrated Watershed Development Programme (IWDP), Rambiara Hills, Srinagar.
The FIR No.38 was registered against the IFS officer for causing loss to the State exchequer by executing civil works which were not part of the project plan. “The officer got some works executed despite being aware of the fact that these were not part of the project plan and the sole motive behind this was to confer undue benefit upon himself and co-accused”, sources said, adding “as per the well knit plan the IFS officer got the bills prepared and subsequently managed to withdraw money from the exchequer”.
Sources said that FIR No.39 was registered against the accused IFS officer for bungling committed in purchase of bulls, sheep and poultry units. In one case the accused misappropriated Rs 27 lakh while as in second case the misappropriated amount has been worked out at Rs 49 lakh, sources added.
In FIR No.38 regarding execution of civil works not included in the project plan, the Vigilance Organization approached the State Government for sanction to prosecute the accused on January 31, 2007 while as in FIR No.39 regarding bungling in purchase of bulls, sheep and poultry units, the prosecution sanction was sought on May 31, 2007.
“Initially, the SVO communications seeking sanction to prosecute IFS officer remained pending for quite long time but later the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests was approached seeking sanction to prosecute the IFS officer”, sources said while disclosing that as far as sanction to prosecute other officers/officials involved in the cases the same was granted much earlier.
It is pertinent to mention here that prosecution sanction in case of two more IFS officers is still awaited from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests.

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