High Court directs Chief Secretary to constitute panel to probe functioning



Srinagar, Dec 18: The High Court has directed the Chief Secretary to constitute a high-level committee headed by a Commissioner/Secretary level officer to enquire into the functioning of Central Cooperative Bank in Anantnag (Islamabad) in south Kashmir.
 The Court of Justice Muzaffar Hussain Attar also directed the Director General of Police to get all the FIRs registered against the accused by a team of officers headed by an officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police.
 The court said after the constituted committee will enquire into the functioning of the bank, it should fix responsibility for the losses on officers, officials or the petitioners who have filed two petitions in the High Court.
 The court directed  the Chief Secretary and DGP to file the status report with regard to its directions within six months.
 Before directing the officers, the Court ‘impleaded’ the Chief Secretary and the DGP as party respondents in keeping with the observation that the Central Cooperative Bank Anantnag instead of being a repository of trust of people has been ‘changed by some vested interests into institution of fraud’.   
 Directing to keep the government Order No 2–Coop of 2012 dated  3 -2- 2012 in abeyance, the Court directed Secretary Cooperatives to hand over the charge of post of General Manager Central Cooperative Bank Anantnag to an officer of integrity. 
 Vide its order no 2 Coop of 2012, the government had allowed that the present arrangement in the interest of the bank and management of daily accounts of Anantnag Central Cooperative Bank.
 The petitioner Bilal Ahmad Khan had filed a petition in High Court challenging the appointment of current officiating General Manager on the grounds that as manager advances at Central Cooperative Bank Anantnag he was “involved in frauds and there was an inquiry going on against him.”  
 The petitioner had said the newly appointed General Manager of the Bank was “previously indicted by the Departmental Inquiry and subsequently he was attached after graft charges against him were proved.”
 He had stated that a group of loanees approached the then Registrar Cooperatives with the reports that after having taken transport loans from various branches of the bank, they have been depositing installments on due time.
 The complainants had filed written complaints along with an audio CD of their conversation with the bank officials as a testimony of their allegation.
 Pertinently, the bank has witnessed the Debt Relief Scam during the tenure of then General Manager and he along with other officials was arrested in connection with the fraud.
 Subsequently, the then Registrar CSJK constituted a team to hold an enquiry on August 24, 2011 vide order No 02-B&F of 2011 with a direction that committee will furnish report within 15 days. The enquiry report submitted by the committee (vide No.Adl/Adm/1584-85 dated: 19.01.2012) indicting two top officials of the bank in the scam.
 The report revealed, “The present GM ACC Bank Anantnag provided the case files wherein the borrowers have submitted the sworn affidavits stating not to have taken the loans from the bank and hence recovery notices issued to them are invalid.”
 The enquiry committee summarized the findings this way: “Given the observed unusual work culture of the bank and recorded evidence, the enquiry committee has reached to the conclusion after adequately hearing and questioning the parties with reasonable opportunity to plead their respective positions, that there was apparent involvement of the bank officials seeking bribes, dissuading recovery initiatives and even moral turpitude in case of one of the delinquent officials.”
 The department though didn’t refer the case to the VOK, it attached vide government order No. 41- Coop of 2011 Commissioner/Secretary Cooperative with State Cooperative Bank.Despite indictment, surprisingly the Commissioner Secretary promoted one of the accused officials as In-charge General Manager.
 The petitioners were represented by Advocate Mian Abdul Qayoom while Additional Advocate General J A Kawoosa represented the state. The official respondent was represented by Advocate A Haqani..

Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 18 Dec 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 19 Dec 2012 00:00:00 IST

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