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ACB registers corruption case against former CEO, other officials of Manasbal Development Authority

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Srinagar: The Anti Corruption Bureau has registered a corruption case against the Chief Executive Officer, Executive Engineer, Assistant Executive Engineer of Wullar-Manasbal Development Authority and two beneficiary contractors for misappropriation of government funds meant for various development works.

The case (FIR No. 03/2024 under section 5(1) (d) r/w Section 5(2) J&K P.C Act Svt. 2006& section 120-B RPC at PS ACB Baramulla) was registered against Zulfiqar Mohammad Khan, then Chief Executive Officer, Bashir Ahmad Baba, the then Executive Engineer, Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh, the then Assistant Executive Engineer/Executive Engineer as well as beneficiary contractors — Ghulam Nabi Mir, son of Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din of Treesa, and Ghulam Nabi Bhat, son of Mohammad Maqbool Bhat of Safapora.

According to ACB, the verification conducted into the matter revealed that Wullar-Manasbal Development Authority executed about 23 civil works during the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 & 2018-19. Out of these 18 works were tendered, while huge illegal and fraudulent extensions ranging from 44 to 218 percent were granted in 15 works the then Chief Executive Officer Zulfiqar Mohammad Khan in brazen violation of laid down norms by gross abuse of official position and authority, as the same was beyond the competence of the officer.

The verification revealed that five works were illegally and fraudulently executed on approval basis, even without inviting tenders by the CEO and then Executive Engineers — Bashir Ahmad Baba and Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh during the period 2016-2019.

The accused persons not only granted illegal and fraudulent extensions in these works but also raised and provided huge exorbitant rates to contractors on various items utilized in these works during execution of works which was also in grave violation of lid down norms, the ACB said.

During the course of the preliminary probe, the experts from the Engineering wing of ACB Kashmir conducted spot inspection of the works executed by the accused public servants and scrutinized the record on the basis of which the loss caused was computed and liabilities of the officers fixed.

The acts of omission & commission on part of the accused public servants in connivance and conspiracy with private beneficiaries (contractors) led to huge loss to state exchequer and commensurate undue pecuniary benefits upon the contractors, ACB said.

It said after registration of FIR, ACB conducted searches in multiple locations simultaneously belonging to accused persons at Rhematabad Colony Hyderpora, Malik Masjid Soura, Sabzi Mandi Soura and Durpora Mangiam Ganderbal in presence of respective jurisdictional magistrates. During searches various incriminating documents have been recovered, ACB said, adding that further investigations of the case are going on.

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