STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta of State High Court (HC) on Thursday rejected the pre-arrest bail application of Executive Officer, Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) Mohd Kubir Malik and Khilafwarzi Inspector Thannamandi, Khalil Ahmed in a petition filed under Section 497-A of Cr.P.C, seeking bail in FIR No. 0182/2018 dated October 4, 2018 registered at Police Station, Thannamandi for commission of offences under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 RPC and Section 5(2) of J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006.
While rejecting the bail, the court also observed that the conduct of Investigating Officer viz. ASP is also not acceptable because he has not taken any steps to conduct substantial investigation in the matter. Subsequently, the court directed IGP to conduct inquiry with regard to ASP’s conduct.
Facts of the bail application are that M.K Malik was serving as EO MC Sunderbani and was transferred on March 6, 2017 at MC Thannamardi. The other petitioner is serving as Khilafwarzi Inspector at MC Thannamardi. It was stated that before joining as EO MC Thannamardi, the petitioner served as EO, Sunderbani in 2016, EO Nowshera in year 2014-16 and EO Kalakote in the year 2012-13. In Thannamardi, some engagements of Casual Labourers on need basis were made by the then Executive Officers, namely Garu Ram and Mohammad Qasim on the recommendation of the local MLA of Rajouri Constituency.
It was stated that one Mohd Mumtaz, who is not the employee of the department lodged a complaint with the SDPO, Thannamardi about the engagements of the Seasonal Labourers. Thereafter, the petitioner by virtue of letter No MC/T/2018/358 dated January 15, 2018 requested the SDPO, Thannamandi that the complaint is pseudonymous and the General Administration Department has issued the circular indicating that how the pseudonymous complaints are to be dealt before taking any action therefore, the petitioner intends to know the particulars of the complainant, so as to sought out their grievance. The SDPO, Thannamardi instead of disclosing the identity of the complainant as well as the employee of the Municipal Department time and again kept on harassing the petitioners and seized the official record without any reason, the plea said.
Upon this, the court observed that argument of petitioner that he was not the EO, Thannamandi at the relevant point of time, does not hold good, because from bare perusal of report it is evident that, there is a specific allegation against the petitioners Mohd Kubir Malik and Khalil Ahmed that they have made illegal appointments in MC Thannamardi in back dates. The investigation conducted so far primarily involve the petitioners in the illegal appointment of 16 persons after taking huge amount from them. There is also specific allegation against the petitioners that the appointment orders were issued in back dates of the year 2012-13 and 2014, however, the names of the aforesaid 16 persons have not been found in the Muster Roll of 2012, 2013, and 2014. All the above mentioned persons were engaged in the year 2015 or thereafter.
The court observed that the ground taken by petitioner that he was transferred on March 6, 2017 as EO at Thannamardi so he has done nothing, is not tenable at this stage as there is specific allegation that he remained posted as EO in the year 2012 and was again posted in 2017 and he has issued appointment orders in respect of some persons who were his relatives in back dates i.e 2012. Another argument of counsel for petitioners that investigation is being conducted by ASI of police, who is not empowered to conduct the same under law, is also not tenable, because at present investigation is being conducted by Additional Superintendent of Police, Rajouri. With these observations, the court rejected the bail application.
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