Jammu, Nov 9: A local court here acquitted eight officials of Health and Family Welfare Department, including a former special secretary, who were facing trial from the last 14 years for alleged financial irregularities and misappropriation of funds.
While acquitting the accused officials, including the then special secretary health, Dr Ali Baksh, Deputy CMO Jammu Ghulam Massih, Sudershan Kumar, Additional Treasury Officer, Joginder Khajuria, the then Superintendent Saddar Treasury Jammu and Accountant Deputy CMO Jammu, Special Judge Anti Corruption, AK Koul observed that none of the charges, leveled against the accused, could be established by the prosecution even after lengthy trial, which has taken one and a half decade to complete.
The court after hearing L K Sharma and Ejaz Ahmed Tak, defence counsels and CPO for the state and going through the statement on the record observed that the evidence adduced by the prosecution had not proved any charges against the accused.
The general principal of criminal jurisprudence requires that intention must accompany the culpable act or conduct of accused, the court, in its 37 page judgment held.
"In addition to providing that accused satisfied the definition of actus reus of a particular crime charged, the prosecution must also prove mens rea i.e the accused had the necessary mental state or degree of fault at the relevant time", the court observed.
The case against the accused was lodged by State Vigilance Organization following a communication from the General Administration Department (GAD) vide DO No GAD (SER) Genl/3/91-A dated November 9, 1994.
It was alleged that the Dr Ali Baksh in his capacity as special secretary to Government Planning and development Department and as a special secretary, health and medical education in family welfare programme committed serious irregularities and thus caused loss to the state exchequer. He was accused of purchasing some material for Rs 38 lakh, allegedly without the availability of funds and also diverted Rs 40 lakh unauthorized from one programme to another and also accorded financial sanction of Rs 1.39 crore in access of the budgetary provision and thus created liabilities to the tune of Rs 3.79 crores.