Taking a dig on State Vigilance Organization (SVO) for going soft on the then Speaker Legislative Assembly Muhammad Akbar Lone with regard to illegal and backdoor appointments in Assembly Secretariat, Justice J.R.Kotwal of Jammu and Kashmir High Court has issued notice to Commissioner Secretary to Government of J&K, General Administrative Department (GAD) and Director SVO to file their response within two weeks in a petition filed by social activist Professor S.K.Bhalla challenging the report of the SVO which has given clean chit to the accused.
Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, Advocate Sheikh Shakil Ahmed alleged that more than 40 posts were sanctioned for the Assembly Secretariat in the year 2007 and all those posts were filled up by the then Speaker and incumbent Higher Education Minister Muhammad Akbar Lone through backdoor by appointing blue-eyed persons. The petitioner according to CNS through his Counsel further submitted that the posts, which were created in the year 2001 and 2005, were filled up by the Selection Committee but the posts that were created in 2007 were filled by without any procedure and criteria.
The petitioner informed the Court that he had lodged a complaint against the then Legislative Assembly Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone and Secretary J&K Assembly Secretariat Muhammad Ramzan for making illegal appointments in J&K Legislative Assembly. Upon the complaint of the petitioner, the SVO sought a report from the Assembly Secretariat. According to the petitioner, the Assembly Secretariat submitted a report to the SVO, in which it was contended that the appointments in question were made by the Speaker as per the previous practice, as earlier also the Speaker had been making appointments in the JK Legislative Assembly.
The petitioner through his Counsel informed the court that on the basis of the said report, the SVO stopped the probe and did not act upon the complaint which he has preferred for seeking registration of an FIR under section 5(2) of J&K Prevention and Corruption Act against Muhammad Akbar Lone.In the writ petition, according to CNS, the petitioner alleged that the SVO closed the case only because the accused involved in this recruitment scam is a high profile politician who not only is a Cabinet Minister but also belongs to the ruling National Conference party.
The petitioner further alleged that the SVO closed the case on the political considerations. He submitted that the SVO without any legal basis closed the complaint which was a proved case for the registration of FIR against the accused under Prevention of Corruption Act. The petitioner claimed that in view of the position and power of the accused, the political pressure on SVO can’t be ruled out. It was further alleged that unless and until the investigation is not monitored by High Court, the SVO will not investigate the matter fairly. The petitioner demanded that the entire records of the case be summoned from the SVO, so that appropriate directions be issued in the matter.The Court directed the Registry to take up the petition for further hearing in the week commencing November 17 next month. (CNS)