PIL against tainted bureaucrats
STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: The Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Chief Justice (Acting) Rajesh Bindal and Justice Sanjay Dhar in a significant order has directed the General Administration Department (GAD) of J&K Government to file a special report before next date of hearing, indicating action initiated against the members of the All India Services, against whom corruption cases have been registered.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocate Supriya Chouhan (through virtual mode) appearing for petitioners in the much publicized PIL No.09/2012 titled Sheikh Mohd Shafi & Anr V/s Union of India & Ors connected with WP(C) PIL No.14/2020 titled Court of its Own Motion V/s U.T. of J&K & Ors whereas AAG Aseem Sawhney appearing for GAD, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice (Acting), while expressing displeasure over half-hearted/ confusing 263 pages status report filed by GAD in terms of order dated July 21, 2020 whereby the GAD was required to apprise Court about departmental action against the Government employees involved in corruption matters and whether employees involved in cases for serious offences were granted further promotions and other benefits.
The Division Bench perused voluminous status report filed by GAD through AAG Aseem Sawhney and after noticing shortcomings observed in open court that the same is not specific and lacks clarity and also not as per format and moreover the status report is sketchy and not to the point. At this stage Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed strenuously argued that in 263 pages GAD’s status report, there is no mention of departmental action initiated against any member of All India Services. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that all out attempt is being made to shield tainted bureaucrats involved in corruption cases. Advocate S S Ahmed vehemently argued that only children of lesser God are proceeded against departmentally whereas IAS Officers involved in Roshni Land Scam, Arms Licenses Scam and Gulmarg Land Scam have been kept outside purview of Departmental action for reasons best known to GAD. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that GAD even dealt the prosecution sanction issues of IAS Officers without referring the same to DoPT, New Delhi.
Advocate S S Ahmed further submitted that people of J&K have a right to know names and other details of these members of All India Services against whom there are serious allegations of corruption and what departmental action has been initiated against them by Government of J&K.
After considering the submissions of Advocate S S Ahmed, the DB headed by the Chief Justice (Acting) put a specific query to AAG Aseem Sawhney to point out from the status report the names of some senior officer or member of All India Services finding mention in GAD’s status report and upon this AAG Aseem Sawhney submitted that he does not agree to contentions of Advocate S S Ahmed but even then he submitted that he will file an updated/ specific status report as per observations of the DB.
Advocate S S Ahmed further submitted that those facing serious allegations of corruption in Roshini Land Scam and Arms Licenses Scam are serving as Administrative Secretaries in J&K and even one Senior IAS Officer is full-fledged Secretary in the Govt of India and no action till date has been initiated against them because of their clout in corridors of power. The Division Bench after heated arguments from both the sides directed GAD to file a specific report indicating action initiated against the Members of All India Services who are involved in cases of corruption and also allowed time to AAG Aseem Sawhney to file updated/ proper/ specific status report indicating the status of the departmental action initiated against Government employees of J&K Government involved in corruption matters.