Rs.27 Crore Scam in J&K Housing Board: DB directs Comm/Secy. H&UDD to shift DGM HB

in Jammu News by

Jammu, Nov 21: Division Bench of the State High Court comprising Chief Justice Bader Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar in the open court directed the Competent Authority/Commissioner- Secretary to Govt. of J&K, Housing and Urban Development Department to post Aftab Rashid Pandit the then DGM Unit-II J&K Housing Board against any other equivalent post without prejudice /uninfluenced by the observations made by the Division Bench in its order dated September, 11, 2017 whereby a Division Bench headed by Justice Alok Aradhe after placing reliance upon the Judgment of the Apex Court titled Centre for Public Interest Litigation V/s Union of India & Anr had directed the Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. of J&K, H&UDD to take steps for posting of the then MD Ram Pal Sharma and Aftab Rashid Pandit DGM Unit-II to some other posts of their grade/cadre in some other Department till the completion of Departmental Enquiry against them.

Today when this much publicized Public Interest Litigation came up for hearing Senior Advocate Riaz Jan with Advocate Vikas Magotra appearing for Aftab Rashid Pandit informed the Division Bench that the applicant the then DGM-II Housing Board has filed an application (MP No.1/2017) seeking modification/vacation of order dated September, 11, 2017 whereby the Division Bench had directed the shifting of Aftab Rashid Pandit to some other post in some other Department till the completion of departmental enquiry. The Senior Advocate Riaz Jan appearing for the applicant submitted that the true facts were not brought to the notice of the Division Bench when order dated September, 11, 2017 was passed which has caused great prejudice to the applicant.

Senior Advocate Riaz Jan further submitted that by virtue of order dated September, 11, 2017 the applicant was uprooted from J&K Housing Board and his image in the society was also tarnished as the order shifting him was stigmatic and ignominious.

The Senior Counsel in the open court read the full text of Judgment of the Apex Court titled Centre for Public Interest Litigation V/s Union of India & Anr and tried to persuade the Division Bench that the said Judgment has no applicability to the facts of the instant case as in the said case the Chief Secretary of UP State was directed to be shifted by the Apex Court in view of pendency of criminal case against him. The Senior Counsel further submitted that the applicant Aftab Rashid Pandit had only executed the works on the verbal directions of his M.D. Ram Pal Sharma and did not indulge in any act of omission or commission.

On the other hand Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Suraj Singh and Supriya Chouhan appearing for the PIL submitted that the applicant Aftab Rashid Pandit has confessed in his application that he executed the works on the verbal directions of his M.D. Ram Pal Sharma who was dancing to the tunes of then Chairman J&K Housing Board Raman Bhalla Minister for Housing, J&K Government as the said Minister was getting his constituency nursed out of Housing Board funds for the areas/colonies which were outside the purview of J&K Housing Board.

Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that Aftab Rashid Pandit was remiss in the performance of his duties as he did not follow the provisions of Financial Code and just to remain in good books of the then Minister/Chairman J&K Housing Board executed works worth Rs.27.00 crores thereby depleting the financial reserves of J&K Housing Board and this stood substantiated by the 3 Member Enquiry Report.

Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that a regular departmental enquiry has been ordered against the then MD Ram Pal Sharma and DGM Aftab Rashid Pandit and apart from this the preliminary enquiry report finalized by Commissioner/Secretary Housing has indicted both Ram Pal Sharma and the DGMs working in the J&K Housing Board.

Advocate Ahmed further submitted that in view of the serious lapses and creation of liabilities worth Rs.27.00 crores Aftab Rashid Pandit does not deserve to be posted in J&K Housing Board as he will indulge in similar activities as previously in league with the then MD Ram Pal Sharma he executed the works on the verbal directions of the then Minister who was nursing his political constituency.

After heated arguments from both the sides the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Bader Durrez Ahmed in the open court directed the Competent Authority/Commissioner-Secretary to Govt. of J&K, Housing and Urban Development Department to post Aftab Rashid Pandit the then DGM Unit-II J&K Housing Board against any other equivalent post without prejudice/uninfluenced by the observations made by the Division Bench in its order dated September, 11, 2017. JNF