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Jammu Kashmir Housing Board Scam: IGP Vigilance Files Status Report

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KASHMIR NEWS TRUST #KNT

Inspector General of Police, State Vigilance Organization, Alok Puri Wednesday filed a status report in the State High Court pursuant to the directions passed in a contempt petition titled Prof. S.K. Bhalla V/s Alok Puri, wherein the petitioner has sought the initiation of contempt of court proceedings against IGP Vigilance Alok Puri and Dr. Koshal Kumar Sharma (KPS) Senior Superintendent of Police, Vigilance Organization Jammu for not registering FIR under Section 5(2) PC Act against Raman Bhalla former Minister for Housing, Horticulture, Culture and Youth Services and Sports, J&K Government and Ram Pal Sharma former I/c Managing Director J&K Housing Board presently Secretary, J&K Housing Board, Jammu into Rs.27.60 crore scam in J&K Housing Board.

In the contempt petition, it has been submitted that pursuant to RTI disclosure it came to the fore that former Minister for Housing Raman Bhalla in league with then I/c Managing Director J&K Housing Board Ram Pal Sharma got several works executed both in Jammu and Srinagar purely on extraneous considerations and actuated with malafide exercise of power and the then MD Housing Board Ram Pal Sharma carried out all the illegal orders/directions of the then Minister which resulted in creation of liabilities worth Rs.27.60 crore.

In the status report filed by the IGP Vigilance, it is submitted that vide Govt. Order No.178-HUD of 2015 dated July, 14, 2015 Mr.Bipul Pathak (IAS) the then Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. of J&K, Housing and Urban Development Department constituted a committee for conducting enquiry in respect of the works amounting to Rs.27.60 crore and the said committee has been directed to submit the report upto March 2, 2016.

The status report filed by IGP State Vigilance Organization according to the news agency Kashmir News Trust [KNT] says that on examination of the complaint it was found that the matter is under enquiry with the Government of J&K in Housing and Urban Development Department, as such as per the guidelines laid down in Vigilance Manual, 2008, the complaint was referred to the Commissioner/ Secretary to Govt. Housing and Urban Development Department, J&K with the request to furnish a factual report along with the outcome of the enquiry in light of the allegations of the complaint within a week’s time vide communication No.VO-Housing-G-04/2016-5711 dated April, 6, 2016. The status report further says that the factual report in the matter has not been received by the State Vigilance Organization till date and in this regard, a reminder bearing No.VO-Housing-G-04/2016-7840 dated May, 19, 2016 has been issued in the matter, however, the factual report in the matter is still awaited.

Pertinently, on the basis of RTI disclosure Prof. S.K. Bhalla lodged a complaint with the IGP Vigilance and SSP VOJ seeking registration of FIR under Section 5(2) PC Act against Raman Bhalla Former Minister for Housing, Horticulture, Culture and Youth Services and Sports, J&K Government and Ram Pal Sharma Former I/c Managing Director J&K Housing Board presently Secretary, J&K Housing Board, Jammu into the Rs.27.60 crore scam in J&K Housing Board. In the complaint it was submitted that works which were to be undertaken by PDD, PWD, Floriculture and other line Departments were got executed by the then Minister for Housing for ulterior motives merely by abusing his official position and Ram Pal Sharma the then MD Housing Board just to remain in good books of the then Minister implemented the illegal orders which resulted into creation of huge liabilities. It is further submitted in the complaint that the works were got executed through blue eyed contractors in derogation to the norms laid down in J&K Financial Code and the works in question were distributed to select contractors who were enjoying proximity with the Former Minister.

It is further stated in the complaint that the then Minister for Housing was knowing well that his powers are confined to his portfolio but going beyond his powers Raman Bhalla on the pretext of redressing the grievances of public directed Ram Pal Sharma then MD JK Housing Board to execute several works meant to be executed by other Departments. The maximum works in Jammu have been executed in Gandhi Nagar Constituency just for the sake of cheap populism. The works include up gradation of civic facilities including parks, lanes, drains, electrification and construction of community halls. [KNT]

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