DB slaps costs of R 5000 each on FC H&UDD, others for not filing ATRs/ Status Reports

JAMMU, MAR 12: Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar in the open court expressed displeasure over the non-filing of the ATR (Action Taken Report)/Status Report by the Financial Commissioner, Housing and Urban Development Department as directed by the Division Bench vide its order dated February, 22, 2018 when final opportunity of two weeks had been allowed to FC H&UDD and all concerned Departments to file their Status Reports/ Action Taken Report in respect of all the officers including Ram Pal Sharma the then Managing Director J&K Housing Board, Aftab Rashid Pandit the then Deputy General Manager J&K Housing Board Srinagar into the infamous R 27.00 crore scam in J&K Housing Board wherein the Division Bench had earlier on December, 15, 2017 directed Senior AAG S.S. Nanda to file Action Taken Report with regard to the enquiry completed in respect of Ram Pal the then MD J&K Housing Board and Aftab Rashid Pandit the then DGM J&K Housing Board. The Division Bench also expressed its concern over the non-filing of the response/status report by the Commissioner/ Secretary to Govt. of J&K, General Administration Department and Principal Secretary to Govt. of J&K Home Department with regard to MP No.1/2018 seeking directions to the Govt. of J&K to initiate departmental proceedings against two IPS Officers of J&K Cadre namely Atul Goel (IPS) the then SSP Jammu and Anand Jain (IPS) Former SSP Jammu for misusing/abusing their official position by providing undue security cover to Kewal Kumar Sharma, Forest Guard turned Additional PRO to the then Deputy Chief Minister J&K, Tara Chand.
In the much publicized PIL titled Sheikh Mohd. Shafi and Anr V/s Union of India and Ors, after hearing Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Supriya Chouhan and Suraj Singh appearing for petitioners and Deputy AG Raman Sharma vice Advocate General for State of J&K, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Bader Durrez Ahmed imposed cost of R 5,000 each upon the defaulting Administrative Secretaries including Financial Commissioner (H&UDD), Principal Secretary (Home), Commissioner/ Secretary to Govt. of J&K (Finance Department) and Commissioner/ Secretary to Govt. of J&K PWD (R&B) for not filing the requisite Status Reports/ATRs as directed by the Division Bench earlier on December, 15, 2017 followed by last opportunity granted on February, 22, 2018. The Division Bench allowed further two weeks time to the above said Administrative Secretaries to comply the order dated February, 22, 2018 subject of course to the payment of costs amounting to R 5,000 each. Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed submitted that Financial Commissioner Housing and Urban Development Department is shielding the tainted officers Ram Pal Sharma the then Managing Director and Aftab Rashid Pandit the then DGM Housing Board who stands indicted by the enquiry officer M. Raju (IAS) the then Commissioner JMC and presently Commissioner/ Secretary to Govt. of J&K PHE who had been appointed as Enquiry Officer in the infamous R 27.00 crore scam in J&K Housing Board.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed further submitted that both the indicted officers are highly influential and enjoy political patronage and despite categoric directions for filing of ATR issued by the Division Bench on December, 15, 2017 followed by last opportunity granted on February, 22, 2018 nothing concrete has been done by the Financial Commissioner H&UDD and it shows that the State Government is not interested to proceed against the tainted influential officers.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed also drew the attention of the Division Bench towards MP No.1/2018 wherein notices were issued on February, 22, 2018 to the Commissioner/Secretary GAD and Principal Secretary (Home) and to DGP J&K to respond in the said Miscellaneous Petition seeking initiation of departmental action against two IPS Officers Anand Jain and Atul Goel for providing undue security cover to Kewal Sharma Former Additional PRO to then Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand. He further submitted that no response has been filed to this Miscellaneous Petition by the two Administrative Secretaries and the matter is being delayed on one pretext or the other.
On the other hand Deputy Advocate General Raman Sharma submitted that Advocate General is not available today and this matter may be listed for the next week. He further submitted that today one status report has been filed by the Home Department and one status report is in the process of being filed. Advocate Ahmed at this stage submitted that the status report filed by Home Department pertains to departmental enquiries and not the reply to the MP No.1/2018 wherein notices were issued on the last date of hearing. The Division Bench looking into the non-serious approach of the Administrative Secretaries i.e. Housing and Urban Development Department, GAD, Home, Finance, PWD (R&B) further granted two weeks time for filing the requisite ATRs/ status reports but subject to the payment of costs of R 5,000 each. JNF