STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Additional Special Judge Anticorruption Kashmir R.N Wattal while considering closure report filed by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in much publicised disproportionate assets (DA) case of Deputy Director Food & Supplies registered by then Vigilance Organization Kashmir observed that matter requires further investigation in light of the points raised in order. The court observed that the final report cannot be accepted and same is accordingly returned to SSP VOK in terms of Section 173 (8) of Cr.P.C for further investigation of the case with the direction to the SSP VOK to get the matter investigated by an officer not below the rank of Dy.S.P and conclude the investigation within a period of three months from the receipt of this report. The final report owes its origin to the FIR No. 88/1997 offence under Section 5(2) P.C. Act registered on written complaint lodged by General Secretary People’s Welfare Forum against Shabir Ahmad Kanth, the then Deputy Director (Admn.) Food and Supplies Department Kashmir having misappropriated huge amount of government money by corrupt and illegal means in league with Mohammad Ashraf Shantoo Assistant Director, Iftikhar Banday, Additional Director Ghulam Nabi Shigan, A.A.O Mehraj-ud-din Khan Transport Officer, Khursheed Alam and Fayaz Ahmad Store Keepers of Food and Supplies Department and also having accumulated huge assets disproportionate to his known source of income in shape of 60 Kanals of land that includes 10 Kanals at Bye-pass and 50 kanals at Hazratbal and bank accounts/deposits outside State at Delhi and Bengaluru. It was also alleged that accused was a partner of Shamiyana Restaurant at Boulevard at Srinagar, and also purchased Bungalows at Greater Kailash Delhi and Gandhi Nagar, Jammu. It was also alleged that Deputy Director concerned in league with other staff members sold the food grains in black market and also fixed rates of transporters on higher side. Further it was alleged that the FCI was sending 100 to 200 trucks of food grains on daily basis to valley and only 60 per cent of these food grains used to reach valley and 40 per cent out of the same were being sold in black market. It was also alleged that about 30 lakh of gunny bags were sold by the accused by taking recourse to fire incident at Gulab Bagh Godown. The investigation commenced and during investigation statements of witnesses were recorded. It was observed in the report that the allegations being multifarious constrained the investigating agency to investigate the matter outside the State and restricted itself only to the receipt and dispatch of the food grains. It also transpires from the final report that assets of accused were verified from revenue agencies and allegations were found baseless. As regards the bank accounts outside in Delhi and Bengaluru could not be verified. The accused was not found the partner of the Shamiyana Restaurant and misappropriation of the 50 per cent of the food grains was found to be wrong. In the operative part of report it was revealed that the allegations in the FIR were not substantiated and investigation in the case was closed as not proved. The court observed that the casual and mechanical way of investigation is obvious and crystal clear from the observation of Investigating Officer in the final report. “Multifaceted allegations though a challenge does not construe and impediment in the investigation of the case. It was not a big thing for VOK being a prime and professional investigating agency in corruption cases in the State”, the court observed adding that another aspect of the case is that property of the accused that he was having during check period has not been investigated thoroughly as the report is silent about the same. “The property in the shape of residential buildings in Delhi, Bengaluru and Jammu that the accused was having has not been investigated as the final report is silent about the same. The allegations against other officers have not been thoroughly investigated as it revealed from final report”, the court observed and directed ACB to carry out further investigation.
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