PRO of then DyCM placed under suspension in DA case

*Also facing FIR for fake entries in service book

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, May 3: Government has placed under suspension the ‘high-profile’ and ‘well-connected’ the then PRO of the then Deputy Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Kewal Krishan Sharma, who is also a Forest Guard, in the Disproportionate Assets (DA) case registered against him by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
He is also facing another FIR registered for making fake and fabricated entries in service book and the same is still under investigation.
“Pending enquiry, Kewal Krishan Sharma, son of Gian Chand Sharma of village Kachrial in Pallanwala area of Akhnoor Tehsil and presently residing in Patta Paloura area of Jammu, the then PRO to the then Deputy Chief Minister of J&K, is placed under suspension with immediate effect”, reads an order issued by Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, General Administration Department.
The order of suspension has been passed in terms of Rule 31 of Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1956, which reads: “The Appointing Authority or any Authority to which it is subordinate or any other Authority empowered by the Government in this behalf, may place a Government servant under suspension where an inquiry into his conduct is contemplated or is pending or a complaint against him of any criminal offence is under investigation or trial”.
In the order, reference has been made of FIR No.32/2015 registered by Police Station Vigilance Organization (now Anti-Corruption Bureau) against Kewal Krishan Sharma for possessing assets beyond known source of income. The case was registered under various provisions of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006.
As per the Anti-Corruption Bureau FIR, assets in the shape of commercial and luxury vehicles and immoveable properties in the shape of residential houses in and outside Jammu and Kashmir worth several crores of rupees have been made by the then PRO of the then Deputy Chief Minister.
As per the ACB, the accused managed to open bank accounts on fake documents and deposited crores of rupees in this fake account and the money was utilized for raising assets held by him.
During the course of investigation, the Anti-Corruption Bureau had also seized several vehicles including a luxury bus -Volvo and a Mahindra REXTON worth Rs 1.5 crores. Moreover, a JCB and a tractor trolley were also seized by the investigating agency from his native village.
As per the investigating agency, he is in the possession of palatial bungalows, plots, cash of lakhs of rupees, had carried out banking transactions worth Rs 4 crore during 2013-14 when he was virtually in power working as PRO to then Deputy Chief Minister. During the course of probe, even huge cash was recovered from his residence.
He has also been booked under FIR No.20/2016 registered by the Vigilance Organization (now Anti-Corruption Bureau) for making fake and fabricated entries in service book.
“The accused was not co-operating and divulging the facts as to how he had managed the opening of account on fake documents and the source of these documents, details of properties purchased outside J&K, the source of fake and fabricated documents used for getting Government job”, the ACB had mentioned while resisting his bail application.