After the fall of PDP-BJP government and imposition of central rule in Jammu and Kashmir in June 2018, Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has registered 219 cases under Prevention of Corruption Act against officials of different ranks in the union territory (UT).
In reply to an RTI application, the government has stated that as many as 219 corruption cases - all against government servants - stand registered since October 2018 when the Vigilance Organization was rechristened as ACB by virtue of SRO 486 of 2018.
As per the reply, of the 219 cases registered in the last two years, including Rs 223 crore loan scam in State Cooperative Bank, cases against former J&K Bank chairman, its executives, some chief engineers, superintendent and executive engineers, a few Kashmir Administrative Service (KAS) officers, deputy excise commissioner and senior officers of forest, health, rural development and other departments.
The ACB has registered three cases against J&K Bank officials and the investigation is presently going on in these cases. At present, the ACB has eight police stations - three in Kashmir, four in Jammu and one central police station with jurisdiction over the UT.
Under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 54 cases had been registered in J&K in 2016 while the number grew to 79 in 2017. With Central Prevention of Corruption Act, which has stringent provisions becoming applicable in J&K UT from October 31 last year, more corrupt officers are falling in the ACB net now, an officer of the ACB told DH.
He said two officers, including a SP from Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) and Deputy Director Enforcement Directorate (ED), have been deputed to the ACB to probe graft cases. “The fresh cases are registered against those officers, who were of the opinion that they will never be touched after committing huge frauds, due to their close proximity with the then ruling class of the erstwhile state,” the officer revealed.
The allegations against officials, which formed the basis for registration of FIRs, include misuse of official position, demand and acceptance of bribe, illegal appointments, embezzlement of funds, allowing of illegal constructions by obtaining pecuniary benefits, possessing disproportionate assets, tampering of official records, facilitating encroachment of government land, use of sub-standard construction material, vesting of ownership rights of land illegally and forgery etc.