Jammu: Today a Division Bench of the J&K High Court comprising its 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 the next date of hearing indicating the action initiated against the members of the All India Services (AIS) against whom the corruption cases have been registered.
After hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocate Supriya Chouhan (through virtual mode) appearing for the 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 its displeasure over the 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 the court about the departmental action against the Govt. 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 the voluminous status report filed by GAD through AAG Aseem Sawhney and after noticing shortcomings observed in the open court that the same is not specific and lacks clarity and also not as per the format and moreover the status report is sketchy and not to the point.
At this stage Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed strenuously argued that in the 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 the 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 Roshini Land Scam, Arms Licenses Scam and Gulmarg Land Scam have been kept outside the purview of the Departmental Action for the reasons best known to the GAD. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that GAD even dealt the prosecution sanction issues of IAS Officers without referring the same to the DoPT, New Delhi.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that people of J&K have a right to know the 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 the 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 the GAD’s status report and upon this AAG Aseem Sawhney submitted that he does not agree to the contentions of Advocate S.S. Ahmed but even then he submitted that he will file an updated/specific status report as per the 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 Govt. of India and no action till date has been initiated against them because of their clout in the corridors of power.
The Division Bench after heated arguments from both the sides directed GAD to file a specific report indicating the 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 the Government Employees of J&K Government involved in the corruption matters. JNF