Sharp rise in registration of FIRs by ACB during Governor’s Rule

Efforts on to tighten noose around all corrupt Govt servants

Focus also on taking all pending cases to logical conclusion

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Oct 20: Registration of FIRs by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (formerly State Vigilance Organization) under Prevention of Corruption Act has seen sharp rise since the imposition of Governor’s Rule in Jammu and Kashmir on June 20, 2018. This has vindicated the stand of the Governor Satya Pal Malik that no stone will be left unturned to eliminate corruption and dishonest people won’t be spared by his administration.
Now, all out efforts are being made to take all these and other FIRs pending during the past quite long time to the logical conclusion by timely completion of investigation and presentation of challans in the Anti-Corruption Courts so as to secure maximum convictions.
As per the data of Anti-Corruption Bureau assessed by EXCELSIOR, a total of 54 FIRs—31 in Jammu province and 23 in Kashmir valley were registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2016 while as this number increased to 79 in 2017 when 46 FIRs under Prevention of Corruption Act were registered in Jammu province and 33 in Kashmir valley.
However, since June 20, 2018 when Governor’s Rule came into force in Jammu and Kashmir, there is sharp rise in registration of FIRs by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and in majority of such cases those officers, who were of the opinion that they will never be touched by the Anti-Corruption Bureau even after committing huge frauds, have been booked.
As per the data, a total of 103 FIRs have been registered by the Anti-Corruption Bureau since June 20, 2019. Of these, 31 FIRs were registered in Jammu during the period between June 20 and December 31, 2018 while as 12 cases under Prevention of Corruption Act were registered by ACB in Kashmir during this period.
During the current year, a total of 31 FIRs have been registered in Jammu and 29 in Kashmir valley till date and all this clearly indicates that fight against the corruption received due attention during the Governor’s Rule.
“These figures vindicate the stand of the Governor that corrupt people no matter how big they are won’t be spared by the Anti-Corruption Bureau without any vendetta against anybody”, observers said, adding “earlier only small persons like Patwaries, Junior Assistants and similar rank officials were being generally targeted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (formerly State Vigilance Organization) but during the Governor’s Rule noose has been tightened against senior corrupt officers to as to have deterrent effect”.
Besides against numerous officers of the Jammu and Kashmir Bank, FIRs have also been lodged against officers of the rank of Chief Engineers, Directors, Superintending Engineers, Executive Engineers, Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Special Secretary, KAS officers holding the posts of Assistant Commissioners Revenue (ACRs), Deputy Excise Commissioner and Assistant Commissioners Development (ACDs), Tehsil Supply Officers, Secretary of Services Selection Board, Senior Manager of JAKFED, Block Development Officers, senior officers of Forest Department and Block Medical Officers etc.
The allegations against officers and officials of different departments and other wings of the Government, which formed the basis for registration of FIRs against them under Prevention of Corruption Act, include misuse of official position, demand and acceptance of bribe, illegal appointments, embezzlement of funds, allowing of illegal constructions by obtaining pecuniary benefits, possessing disproportionate assets, tampering of official records, facilitating encroachment of State and other land, making illegal appointments, use of sub-standard construction material, vesting of ownership rights of land illegally and forgery etc.
“This clearly indicates that all out efforts are being made to tighten noose around senior level corrupt officials in the administration, which was long overdue”, official sources said, adding “Governor has already directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to ensure that investigation into all these as well as other pending FIRs is completed as expeditiously as possible so as to pave the way for presentation of challans in the Anti-Corruption Courts and securing maximum conviction”.
They further said, “unless timely challans are presented in the courts and convictions are secured on the basis of flaw-less investigation registration of FIRs is not going to achieve any major success in the ongoing fight against the menace of corruption”, adding “from October 31 onwards when both the Union Territories will be formally established the drive against corruption will receive impetus as Central Prevention of Corruption Act, which has stringent provisions, will become applicable”.