ACB books former Dy GM, Asstt Manager JKHB Srinagar in corruption case

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STATE TIMES NEWS

SRINAGAR: The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered a case against officers/ officials of J&K Housing Board (JKHB) Srinagar on corruption allegations pertaining to various projects on Wednesday.
As per an official spokesperson, the ACB has registered case vide FIR No. 27/2020 against officers/ officials of J&K Housing Board Srinagar namely Aftab Rashid Pandit, the then Deputy General Manger J&K Housing Board Unit 2nd, Srinagar; Shiekh Sajjad Bashir, the then Assistant Manager J&K Housing Board Unit 2nd, Srinagar and others, on outcome of a JSC conducted by the bureau into allegations of procurement of material on exorbitant rates and usage of substandard material in projects of construction of the buildings undertaken and progressed ahead by J&K Housing Board Unit 2nd, Srinagar without tendering process during period 2015- 2017. During probe, it was found that aforesaid works were to be executed in two fold mechanism; labour component and material component wherein labour component was to be executed through piece-meal workers and material was to be produced through tendering from original manufactures. Apart from a lot of procurements done without tendering in conspiracy with portrayed piece meal workers, procurement of many items were made on exorbitant rates, he added.
It has surfaced that at a project in Srinagar, the excavated earth to the tune of 11756 cubic metres has been shown transported to a dumping site but dumping site has not been identified by providing any site plan etc. The dumping site is located at a far distance from project site but same has been shown located at minimum distance. The auction or sale of excavated material could have generated revenue for Government but wrongful loss has been caused to state exchequer. Further the purported carriage charges of the material from excavated site to dumping site have been billed to tune huge amounts. The billed cost amounting on account of non-existent leveling of unknown dumping site has been done, which resulted in loss to State exchequer with consequent undue benefit to public servants. The executing agency has failed to provide any contour map or cross section depicting natural surface prior to excavation to support their claim of excavating a quantity of 11756 cubic meters of earth. The approximate loss worked out at one of sites on account of excavation of earth work is about Rs 15 Lakh. The loss is likely to go up when investigation of the case will move further, he added.
The allegations of nepotism in allotting works etc have also been leveled with respect to the other projects at different places which will be probed during investigation. These commissions and omissions on part of officers/officials of J&K Housing Board, namely Aftab Rashid Pandit, the then Deputy General Manger J&K Housing Board Unit 2nd, Srinagar; Shiekh Sajjad Bashir, the then Assistant Manager J&K Housing Board Unit 2nd, Srinagar and others constitute offences under Section 5(1) (C), 5(1) (d) read with section 5(2) J&K PC Act Samvat 2006 and Section 120-B of RPC. Accordingly, a case vide FIR No. 27/2020 was registered in Police Station ACB Srinagar. Subsequently search warrants were obtained from the competent court and searches were conducted at various places. During searches, some incriminating materials/documents were seized on the spot, he said, adding that further investigation in the case is going on.

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