Anti-corruption court convicts two former Agri dept officials
Sentences them to one year jail term for appointing daily-rated workers in violation of law
Srinagar, Jul 26: The Anti-Corruption Court Kashmir today convicted and sentenced a former Chief Agriculture Officer (CAO) and his senior assistant to one year jail term for appointing daily-rated workers in violation of the law.
The Special Judge Anti-Corruption Court, Kashmir, R. N. Watal convicted and sentenced the CAO Ghulam Mohiudin Koul and his Senior Assistant Abdul Samad Khan to simple Imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs 2,00,000 each.
In default of fine amount, the convicts would undergo simple imprisonment for a further period of one month under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act
“Since the convicts were on bail, so, they are taken into custody and are forwarded to Superintendent Central Jail Srinagar along with a warrant for the execution of sentence,” ordered the judge.
He observed that since the convicts are in their late seventies (having retired since long from the service) and that the old age being in itself a disease “a simple sentence is awarded in their favor”.
According to the charge-sheet filed against the accused by the Vigilance Organization Kashmir (VOK), the then CAO Srinagar Ghulam Mohiudin Koul had issued orders of appointment of daily-rated workers in violation of the Government SRO 64 dated 24.3.94 and Government order no. 26-F dated 31.1.94 with the help of Abdul Rashid, Junior Assistant and Abdul Samad Khan, Senior Assistant of the Agriculture department.
“The appointment orders were issued when accused CAO was to retire in the month of April 1997, indicating his malafide intentions resulting in loss to government exchequer,” said the charge-sheet.
Investigation in the matter was taken up, relevant records were seized and statements of witnesses were recorded and investigation concluded with the finding that accused Ghulam Mohiudin Koul, the then CAO, issued engagement orders in respect of 32 casual labourers.
The charge-sheet also revealed that accused Koul in active connivance with Abdul Rashid Bhat, Junior Assistant issued 11 more appointment orders without adhering to the official procedures and in flagrant violation of rules and regulations.
The accused Abdul Rashid Pandith, son of Abdul Sattar Pandith of Nishat Srinagar died during the trial, and as such the proceedings against him could not be ordered.
Rest of the accused pleaded not guilty and accordingly prosecution was directed to lead evidence.
The CAO pleaded that he was having the competence to engage Class IV employees.
The court after hearing the contending parties held that the “accused No.1 in conspiracy with accused Nos.2 to 3 made appointments of daily-rated workers in violation of Government Order No.26-F of 1994 dated 31-01-1994 read with SRO 64 of 1994 and in violation of rules and regulations of employment procedure when the accused No.1 was at the fag end of his services.”
The appointment of daily-rated workers in violation of Government Order No.26-F of 1994 dated 31-01-1994 read with SRO 64 of 1994 has resulted into loss to the Government Exchequer and benefit to the accused and beneficiaries, it said.