HC directs ACB to investigate former PDP minister

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Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to re-investigate the allotment of 10 shops by Municipal Committee Pampore in 2014 allegedly at the behest of former PDP Minister Zahoor Ahmad Mir.

A former settlement officer of the MC Pampore, Abdul Hamid  Wani, has petitioned the court alleging that the ACB did not carry out a thorough investigation after he submitted a compliant with it.

Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey directed the ACB to examine the matter afresh.

The court directed the Commissioner Secretary, General Administration Department (GAD), to intimate the action taken on the report of the State Vigilance Organization which was submitted to the department on May 18, 2015.

The court also directed Director of the Urban Local Bodies Kashmir to constitute a committee of officers of his Department excluding Municipal Committee Pampore to submit the report about the assets of the Committee including the shops which were allotted without public auction.

The officer, the court said, shall also submit records of allotment of the shops questioned by the petitioner.

The petitioner submits before the court that he had filed a complaint before Vigilance Commission saying former PDP Minister and MLA Pampore Zahoor Ahmad Mir had, with connivance of officials of Municipal Committee Pampore and Director Urban Local Bodies Kashmir, allotted a shop belonging to MC Pampore without any permission to Idrees Ahmad Bhat of Pamore. He said that allotting the shop to Bhat, who is the cousin of Mir, caused a loss of Rs 20 lakhs to the exchequer.

Mir, the petitioner said, has also allotted 9 shops to various persons on nominal charges causing a loss of over Rs one crore to the exchequer.