RUSA Mission Director among 8 employees given "premature retirement" over corruption charges in JK

  • | Thursday | 28th October, 2021

Srinagar, Oct 28 (PTI) Cracking the whip on corrupt employees, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday ordered "premature retirement" of eight officials, including the Mission Director of the Rashtriya Uchchattar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), official sources said. The employees include four Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Service (JKAS) officers who were booked in corruption cases in the past, they said. The employees were given "premature retirement" from service under Article 226 (2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations. The action reflects the "zero tolerance" policy of the administration led by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha against corruption. According to Article 226 (2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Service Regulations, the government in the public interest may retire an employee after completion of 22 years of qualifying service or attaining 48 years of age. "All the eight employees, including RUSA Mission Director Ravinder Kumar Bhat (JKAS), have been given premature retirement on charges of corruption and misconduct,” an official said. According to officials, Bhat was facing charges of corruption during his posting in different departments. The then vigilance department, which is now Anti Corruption Bureau, had registered a corruption case against him in 2015, the officials said. They said as the then Assistant Commissioner, Revenue, Budgam, Bhat was allegedly involved in irregular transfer of state land under the Roshni Scheme and arbitrarily fixed the price of land lower than the prevailing market rate of the area, incorrect application of rates, unauthorized change of classification of land from residential to agriculture. The officer while acting in league with the beneficiaries inflicted huge monetary loss to the government, the officials said, adding sanction for prosecution was accorded against him in October 2019. The officer was also involved in another corruption case during his posting as a Director of Rural Development Department, they said, adding he has allegedly made huge procurement without following the tendering process. A joint surprise check by ACB had revealed his malpractices, the officials said. They said the officer is also involved in cases related to embezzlement which inter-alia casts doubt on the functioning of the officer and his abilities with regard to dealing with financial responsibilities. Another officer given premature retirement on charges of corruption and misconduct is Regional Director, Survey and Land Records, Srinagar Mohammad Qasim Wani (JKAS), the officials said, adding he as District Programme Officer, Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), Kupwara had procured substandard material on highly exorbitant rates for ICDS project. An FIR under prevention of corruption act was filed against Wani and sanction for prosecution was accorded by the government in his case in 2020, the officials said. They said a charge sheet has been filed against him by ACB before a trial court. The officials said Wani had purchased huge properties in the name of his wife. He has made fortune by misusing his official position, clearly indicating his doubtful integrity. Deputy Secretary, ARI & Training Department, Noor Alam has also been compulsorily retired after scrutiny of corruption cases against him, the officials said. During his posting in different departments, Alam amassed huge wealth, misusing his official position, they said. They said ACB had registered a case against Alam in 2019 to investigate his illegal assets and subsequently attached four of his properties in Jammu which included a house and three plots of land. Apart from these assets, he had raised various other properties in the name of his wife and other family members and also owns several vehicles including commercial vehicles, the officials said. JKAS officer Mohd Mujib Ur Rehman Ghassi who has been prematurely retired is currently under suspension, the officials said. They said Ghassi during his tenure in the Cooperative department had facilitated a loan amount of Rs 223 crore in favour of a non-existent cooperative society. The remaining officers who have been retired prematurely are: former block medical officer of Beerwah Fayaz Ahmad Banday, junior assistant in Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs department Ghulam Mohiuddin, Junior Assistant Rakesh Kumar Pargal and store keeper Parshotam Kumar. PTI SKL SMN SMN

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