ACB registers case against Ex-CEO, ExEN, AEE of MDA

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Srinagar: Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday said it has registered a case against the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Executive Engineer, and Assistant Executive Engineer of the Manasbal Development Authority for abuse of official position and misappropriation of government funds. 

 “Anti Corruption Bureau said that it registered a case FIR No. 03/2024 under section 5(1) (d) r/w Section 5(2) J&K P.C Act Svt. 2006 & section 120-B RPC at PS ACB Baramulla against 1) Zulfiqar Mohammad Khan, then Chief Executive Officer 2) Bashir Ahmad Baba, the Executive Engineer 3) Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh the then Assistant Executive Engineer/Executive Engineer as well as beneficiary contractors namely Ghulam Nabi Mir S/o Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din R/o Treesa and Ghulam Nabi Bhat S/o Mohammad Maqbool Bhat R/o Safapora and others on account of misappropriation of Govt funds meant for various development works etc. on the culmination of verification,” ACB said in a statement.

ACB said that the verification conducted into the matter revealed that Wullar Manasbal Development Authority executed about 23 civil works during the financial years 2016-17, 2017-18 & 2018-19. “Out of which 18 works were tendered and in 15 works, huge illegal and fraudulent extensions were granted ranging from  44% to 218% by the then Chief Executive Officer Zulfiqar Mohammad Khan in brazen violation of laid down norms by gross abuse of official position & authority as same was beyond the competence of the officer,” said the ACB.

The antigraft agency said that the verification conducted further revealed that five works were illegally and fraudulently executed on an approval basis, even without inviting tenders by the then Chief Executive Officer namely Zulfiqar Mohammad Khan, and then Executive Engineers, Wullar Manasbal Development Authority, Bashir Ahmad Baba and Zahoor Ahmad Sheikh AEE during the period 2016-2019.

“The accused persons not only granted illegal/fraudulent extensions in these works but also raised and provided huge exorbitant rates to contractors on various items utilized in these works during the execution of works which was also in grave violation of lid down norms in vogue,” it added. 

During the preliminary probe, the experts from the Engineering wing of ACB Kashmir conducted a spot inspection of the works executed by the accused public servants and scrutinized the record based on which the loss caused was computed and the liabilities of the officers fixed. The acts of omission and commission on the part of the accused public servants in connivance and conspiracy with private beneficiaries (contractors) led to huge losses to the state exchequer and commensurate undue pecuniary benefits upon the contractors, the antigraft agency said. 

“Immediately after the registration of FIR, house search warrants in respect of accused public servants were issued by the Hon’ble court of Spl Judge Anti Corruption Baramulla and in pursuance to House search warrants, the ACB conducted searches in multiple locations simultaneously belonging to accused persons at Rhematabad Colony Hyderpora, Malik Masjid Soura,  Sabzi Mandi Soura and Durpora Mangiam Ganderbal in presence of respective jurisdictional Magistrates,” said the ACB. 

The searches were conducted meticulously, by legal/laid down/ procedure, to gather evidence linked with the investigation of the case. During searches various incriminating documents have been recovered. Further investigations of the case are going on, it added