March 2018 News

Vigilance Teams Raid Houses, Offices Of Director, 4 ACDs-DPOs; NCCF Office

28 March 2018
The Daily Excelsior
Gopal Sharma

Jammu: The Vigilance sleuths today raided the house- office premises of Director Rural Development Jammu, RK Bhat besides four other officers of the Department including ACDs- DPOs and General Manager of National Cooperative Consumer Federation (NCCF) of India, exposing major scam worth crores in the Rural Development Department (RDD) under Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funding. Official sources told the Excelsior that Vigilance teams under the overall supervision of Director Vigilance J&K, conducted simultaneous raids in the house- office premises of five officers and seized relevant records pertaining to some purchases made during the year 2015, 2016 and 2017 for the department, personal laptops- computers besides details- documents related to properties- FDRs etc and finally registered an FIR No. 8- 2018 against two Directors, R K Bhat (one former, ML Raina), three ACDs (2 former), four District Panchayat Officers of Rural Development Department and one General Manager of NCCF, DC Saxena. A private agency M-s Hashmie Enterprises, of a blue eyed person of the top people in RDD, operating from Bathindi in Jammu was also booked for this multi-crore scandal in the Rural Development Department. Giving more details the sources further revealed that while the raid in the house of Director RDD Jammu, RK Bhat at Udheywalla in Jammu was going late this evening, searches in the houses of the then ACD Reasi Mukhtar Sheikh at Sidhra, Suram Chand, the then ACD Reasi in Jammu (now GM DIC) and Noor Alam ACD Rajouri were completed by evening in presence of Magistrates. Besides official record, details- documents of some personal- benami properties worth crores were also seized. The names of ACD Poonch Basharat Hussain (now ADC), Shafiq Choudhary the then I-C ACD Rajouri (Now ADC Kotranka) and Majid Jahangir, the then DPO also figured in the FIR. A top officer refused to share the details of the properties seized but said that scrutiny of the documents is lengthy process and the Vigilance officials were on the job. It may take some time to go into details and scrutinize everything. But he maintained that it was in crores and may be shared shortly. A spokesman from the Vigilance organization said that on the basis of allegations regarding huge purchases- installations of Flex hoardings, tree guards, dustbins, wheel barrows, tiles etc by the officers of RDD from their own blue eyed persons, resulting into massive loss to the public exchequer, joint surprise checks- raids were conducted by the Vigilance teams at Rajouri, Poonch and Reasi some time back. The relevant record was seized from various offices of the ACDs-DPOs during raids. During scrutiny of records, it was established that Directors RDD Jammu placed supply orders with selective firms worth crores without observing codal formalities and without receipt of proper indents from subordinate formations- officers of RDD in the districts. The Directors of RDD Jammu under a well-knit and pre-designed conspiracy hatched with their subordinate officers mentioned in the FIR duly facilitated by NCCF Jammu head DC Saxena and others purchased various items including flex hoardings, tree guards, tiles, file covers, job cards, dust bins etc without ascertaining the rates reasonability meant for these districts. It was also established that ACDs and DPOs have also purchased some of the items pre-dominantly from same set of firms in similar fashion, without observance of codal formalities. Scrutiny of the record further revealed that supply orders were split and placed before the firms hurriedly and in a haphazard manner with dishonest intension to obtain pecuniary advantage, which is evident from the fact that most of the items have been purchased on highly exorbitant rates and it has also been found during joint inspections that works related to wall paintings- slogan writings have been carried out repetitively in short intervals which is a wasteful expenditure. This has also caused massive loss to the State exchequer. The public servants were found to have abused their official position by making purchases on highly exorbitant rates defeating the purpose enshrined in the welfare schemes meant for poor and needy people under MGNREGA. Not only this, the officers made purchases from the NCCF which was banned by the State Government during 2004 involving middle men as modus operandi to fill their own coffers. The Vigilance Organisation thus registered a fresh FIR today and its teams assisted by local police and Magistrates raided the residences of some officers and also at the office of NCCF and M-S Hashmie Enterprises at Bathindi in Jammu. The relevant record and documents pertaining to properties were seized from various locations in presence of independent witnesses. Further scrutiny of the record and documents seized was in progress, the spokesman maintained.