Court takes serious note of functioning of ACB


Jammu, May 25: Additional Sessions Judge Doda (with the powers of Special Judge Anticorruption) Amarjeet Singh Langeh took serious note of functioning of ACB, directs serious indulgence of supervisory officers in hierarchy of investigating agency so that investigation can proceed expeditiously to logical conclusion.
This significant order has been passed in a bail application filed by one Mehraj Ud Din Butt.
Additional Sessions Judge Anticorruption Doda Amarjeet Singh Langeh while dealing with bail application, observed that it needs no brainer to note that an application for grant of bail on surrender in a case pertaining to offences under Prevention of Corruption Act and that of RPC can neither be allowed on mere asking nor the same can be denied in a cavalier manner without considering relevant factors including gravity of allegations and evidence collected during investigation. It is in this context that certain observations are needed to be made in the application in hand so that the investigating agency not only takes note thereof but also indulges in follow-up action where after the matter can be disposed off on merit.
Court further observed that examination of relevant record would show that Snathan Dharam Kishtwar lodged complaint against one Wali Mohd S/o Qadir Giri R/o Kundhali Pochhal of Tehsil and District Kishtwar regarding fraudulent preparation and payment of land compensation for land comprising of Khasra No. 3761-min and 915 min Shamlat-deh land of Revenue village Pochhal - with vigilance organization Jammu, as it was then called. Preliminary verification was conducted which reveals that one Wali Mohd as aforesaid was not entitled to any amount of compensation in respect of Khasra No. 3761/Min and Khasra No. 915/Min and that the Revenue authorities concerned released payment in the name of aforesaid individual on the recommendation made by the then Assistant Revenue Attorney to Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar who is petitioner herein. The chunk of land is huge for which GREF was to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 6,85,20,162 (Rs Six crores eighty five lakhs twenty thousand one hundred sixty two) out of which the accused aforesaid (Wali Mohd) was to receive illegal payment of compensation to the tune of Rs 42,24,875/- (Rupees forty two lakhs twenty four thousand eight hundred seventy five). It is alleged that some how Wali Mohd received payment of Rs 14,08, 750/- (Rupees fourteen lakhs eight thousand seven hundred fifty) on the basis of recommendation made by petitioner (allegedly) in capacity of Assistant Revenue Attorney to the then Deputy Commissioner. Kishtwar on the basis of preliminary inquiry, ultimately FIR No. 05 of 2022 for offences under sections 5(1)d r/w 5(2) J&K PC Act 2006 and 120-B, 420,467468 & 471 of RPC was registered on 04.07.2022 and since then the investigation is going on.
According to the investigating officer present in the court, despite many communications addressed to Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar, concerned Revenue record from ACR, Kishtwar, is yet to be seized. It is also worth noting that the then Addl. Deputy Commissioner, District Vigilance Officer Kishtwar, brought to the notice of then Deputy Commissioner Kishtwar through written communication dated 09.12.2019, the factum of tampering with revenue record as mentioned in said communication and also existence of certain fictitious entries qua nature of land in question. Said communication also pointed out that Wali Mohd was not entitled to any compensation in respect to Khasra No. 3761/3 Min and Khasra No. 915/Min and that the concerned authorities of the time have released payment to him illegally in connivance with petitioner etc etc.
Court observed that it is a case where verification of allegations in the complaint took more than three and half years and thereafter investigation has taken up nearly one year and yet investigating agency has not been able to procure the revenue record wherein tampering/ preparation of false documents in order to obtain illegal compensation on the basis of fake documentation is alleged. For an investigating agency not to register any noteworthy progress in the vital aspects of the case under investigation - is something which cannot be appreciated. Investigation and that too by an agency like A.C.B must not be prima facie lethargic, ostensibly lackadaisical, avoidably staggering and Palably tardy. Strangely enough, the attention of the investigating agency till date does not seem to have been directed at the principal accused, Wali Mohd who ultimately would have been the recipient of the whole compensation in question.
Court observed that under these circumstances which warrant serious indulgence of supervisory officers in hierarchy of investigating agency so that investigation can proceed expeditiously to logical conclusion and also directed investigating agency, therefore, come up with the latest status of progress registered by next date of hearing in the case so that after considering all relevant aspects, this application can be disposed off on merits. JNF

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