Where are Fact Finding Committees, Task Force; all eyes now on LG

Irregularities, scams in Sports Council, DYSS

JAMMU, Nov 23:

Despite Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha’s loud and clear warning to the corrupt, the ‘Fact Finding Committees’ and the ‘Sports Task Force’ announced by the previous Governments to check alleged irregularities and scams in sports, remain mere announcements.
However, all eyes are on LG Manoj Sinha headed Jammu and Kashmir Administration to see whether he revives these committees and constitute the Task Force or not.
The then J&K Governor Satya Pal Malik has framed ‘Fact Finding Committees’ on the basis of several complaints received by his office and the grievance cell with regard to alleged irregularities and scams in J&K Sports Council and Department of Youth Services and Sports–the Government run bodies.
Meanwhile, former Advisor to the Governor K Vijay Kumar, who held the Sports portfolio– during an interaction with the media on December 12, 2018 had announced to frame ‘Sports Task Force’ in the presence of then Governor Satya Pal Malik.
“As many irregularities and scams in Sports Council and DYSS have been brought to the notice of respective dispensations but, major action is yet awaited,” reliable sources said.
They said, “LG Sinha has already issued clear directions to every Department of his Administration that neither the corrupt nor the corruption will be acceptable to him and so, we appeal him to constitute a committee to find alleged irregularities and wrongdoings in the Sports Council and DYSS.”
A former employee retired from one of the Government run Sports bodies when contacted here said on condition of anonymity, “From illegal promotions to equipment purchasing, infrastructure, utilisation of funds, bungling in seniority lists, commission to release funds to sports associations, and many more such allegations, everything needs to be probed.”
He further said that some of the employees allegedly have also been given undue benefits in promotions despite being ineligible, adding, “some of them as per reports are also facing corruption cases but still managed to stay within the Council on prominent posts.”
The Then Governor Satya Pal Malik on October 5, 2019, to tighten noose against the malpractices and curb the corruption, constituted a Fact Finding Committee to look into scams and irregularities into the J&K Sports Council besides other developmental projects from the period of 2010 to 2018.
As per official spokesman, acting on large number of complaints received by the (then) Governor and the Government from various quarters regarding irregularities in the functioning of different departments, the Government had decided to constitute the ‘Fact Finding Committees’ headed by senior officers to go into these alleged irregularities, if any.
He said that the ‘Fact Finding Committees’ were framed to look into irregularities in illegal appointments and other scams in J&K Sports Council and added, “each ‘Fact Finding Committee’ was to be headed by a senior officer and he had to submit its findings in a time-bound manner”.
The Committee had to examine illegal and irregular appointments in J&K Sports Council to inquire into it, if any, in the J&K Sports Council and the Department of Youth Services and Sports from 2010 onwards and identify those responsible for irregularities, if any.
“The Committee was to be chaired by the Principal Secretary (Home) and included Secretary, Youth, Services and Sports,” he added.
Pertinently, around 20 political appointments were made in the J&K Sports Council in nearly one decade from 2010 to 2019.
As per sources, complaints of embezzlement of funds, purchase of substandard equipment/kits/gadgets, defunct sports associations getting annual grants, and many more, are lodged with the Government.
Moreover, then Advisor K Vijay Kumar on December 12, 2018, had also announced introduction of ‘Sports Task Force’ in Jammu and Kashmir to keep check on utilisation and distribution of funds. Chief Secretary BVR Subramanium was also present during the event.
Official sources further said that ‘sports mafia’ is ruling the roost in the promotion and transparent working of Sports Council and Department of Youth Services and Sports, adding, “irony of the system is that sports was never taken seriously in Jammu and Kashmir and this led to malpractices and bungling in these two major Departments and it always remained overlooked, unchecked.”
“Some Associations, the Federations of which have been de-affiliated by the Central Government, are still receiving grant-in-aid from J&K State Sports Council, throwing Constitution into the winds,” they said adding, “alleged nexus between some officials and members of some Associations cannot be ruled out as they have mastered themselves in dealing with the affairs of the Sports Associations for vested interests.”
Sports is a field that shapes future generation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government in the Centre is already giving special focus to groom and boost sports, said an official, adding, “we appeal to LG Sinha that without wasting any time, constitute a committee and find out the ground realities to secure the future of all those genuinely associated with the sports.” (UNI)