Corruption charges framed against 4 RDD officials including BDO, JE

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Additional Sessions Judge Anticorruption Jammu Ritesh Dubey on Friday framed corruption charges against several officials of the Rural Development Department for fraudulent withdrawal of payment.
According to the VOJ (now ACB), the Challan under FIR No. 09/2011 P/S VOJ U/S 5 (1) (d) r/w 5 (2) J&K PC Act 2006 and section 419,420,465, 467,468,471, 120-RPC, was produced in the Court of Spl Judge Anti-Corruption Court Jammu, against Sita Ram, the then BDO Bishnah, Sunil Kumar, then JE Bishnah, Subash Chander, then VLW and Kewal Krishan, then Accountant/Cashier, posted in the Office of BDO Bishnah.
The accused officials entered into a criminal conspiracy and in pursuance thereof, fraudulently withdrew payment to the tune of Rs 4.98 lakh against the construction of lane and drain at village Chak Hassal, Bishnah in the name of one Ashok Kumar of Chak Hassal, tehsil Bishnah on the basis of his fake signatures and also misappropriated an amount of Rs 1,83,953/- showing fake measurements in M Book thereby causing wrongful loss to the State exchequer and corresponding wrongful gain to the accused persons.
During investigation of the case the documentary evidence was collected and statements of witnesses were also recorded and various new facts were found and finally the offences U/S 5 (1) (d) r/w 5 (2) J&K PC Act 2006 and section 419,420,465,467,468,471, 120-RPC against Sita Ram the then BDO Bishnah (now retired), Subash Chander the then VLW BDO Office Bishnah, Sushil Magotra the then JE posted in BDO office Bishnah, Satish Kumar Langer the then AEE posted in the Sub-Division of RDD Bishnah, Jatinder Singh the then AEE posted in the Sub Division of Rural Development Department Bishnah, Kewal Krishan the then Sr. Assistant/Account Assistant posted in Block Development Office Bishnah (now retired) and Devinder Kumar the then Block Development Officer Bishnah (now SDM) Chenani Udhampur were substantiated during investigation of the instant case.
During investigation of the case, the documentary evidence was collected, statements of witnesses got recorded, various new facts were found and finally the offences U/S 5 (1) (d) r/w 5 (2) J&K PC Act 2006 and section 419,420,465,467,468,471, 120-RPC against the accused officers and officials came to light.
Additional Sessions Judge Anticorruption Jammu Ritesh Dubey observed that the offence of embezzlement does not fall in section 5(1)(d), and relevant clause is (c). The same is not tenable at this stage. The prosecution allegations are two fold. One comprises the facts constituting the alleged misappropriation of amount for the works allegedly executed by the complainant, and the other constituting the alleged criminal misconduct in allotment, execution, supervision and clearance of bills by different accused. So, prima facie the prosecution is right in alleging the offence under section 5(1)(d) and not the one under section 5(1)(c) PC Act. Though the framing of charge is not a mere formality yet the law is also settled that a detailed and meticulous examination of material is not required to be done. The law is also well settled that the charge may be framed even on the basis of suspicion. I am conscious of the law that such a suspicion has to be based on the material available on the file. In the present case, the possible material required to establish some conspiracy between the co-accused, has to be considered in the totality of allegations and circumstances involved herein. But the totality of said allegations and circumstances do not convince me to the satisfaction that the charge is groundless.
With these observations, Court is convinced that there is sufficient material to proceed against the accused and the above referred submissions of counsels for accused are not sufficient to lead this Court to hold that there is no sufficient ground for proceeding against the accused in this case. The respective roles played by different accused for the purpose of various acts and omissions involved herein, are also not beyond suspicion which is based on the material tendered by the prosecution. As such, I am convinced that the material collected by the investigating agency during investigation, sufficiently establishes the offences under sections 5(1)(d) r/w 5(2) J&K PC Act Svt 2006, 419/420/ 465/467/468/471/120-B RPC prima facie against the accused persons the Sita Ram the then BDO Bishnah (now retired), Sushil Magotra the then JE posted in BDO office Bishnah, Satish Kumar Langer then AEE posted in the Sub-Division of RDD Bishnah, Jatinder Singh the then AEE posted in the Sub Division of Rural Development Department Bishnah, Kewal Krishan the then Sr. Assistant/Account Assistant posted in Block Development Office Bishnah (now retired) and Devinder Kumar the then Block Development Officer Bishnah.