J&K ACB indicts four govt officials in graft case

JAMMU: The J&K ACB on Saturday indicted four government officials, including an SDM, for allegedly extracting a bribe of Rs 60,000 for clearing a private individual's claim for compensation against damages to trees on public land in a road construction work.

The ACB made the indictment in a charge-sheet filed in an anti-corruption court of a special judge.

The Anti-Corruption Bureau filed the charge-sheet after the completion of the probe and other relevant formalities, an ACB spokesperson said.

He said the accused in the 2011 case include former Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Mahore, Mohammad Hanief Malik, erstwhile Forester Abdul Majid Bhat, Arnas' ex-Naib Tehsildar Vijay Kumar Sharma and ex-Patwari Abdul Rashid.

The spokesman said the case was registered in 2011 on the complaint of Dansal-Mahore resident Ghulam Nabi of Reasi district.

He had claimed that Rashid and Malik had demanded and accepted Rs 60,000 and other gods from him for the release of compensation amount for the damage caused to the trees in their land during the construction of an approach road from Duga Dansal by Konkan Railways during 2006-07.

He had also alleged that the officials were demanding another sum of Rs one lakh for the release of the compensation amount.

The spokesperson said during the probe it transpired that Ghulam Nabi and his father Hussaina had claimed the compensation for damage to some trees caused during the construction of the approach road.

The probe, however, further revealed that the land belonged to the Forest Department and was in illegal possession of Nabi and his three brothers, he said.

During the probe, it was established that the then Patwari had prepared a fake assessment report in favour of Hussaina and his sons Jamal Din and Bag Hussain regarding the damage to the trees due to the construction of the road by Konkan Railways, despite the actual loss being that of the government.

Rashid had then demanded and accepted Rs 60,000 and other edible items from the complainant, while the ex-Naib Tehsildar countersigned and authenticated the fake assessment report prepared by the Patwari, the spokesperson said.

He said Majid being the employee of the Forest Department and in-charge of the block knew that the loss was caused to the government but prepared the assessment report and facilitated the processing of the fake compensation case.

He said Malik, the then SDM, Mahore as supervisory officer forwarded the fake assessment report for the release of compensation without ascertaining the facts regarding actual damage, thereby becoming instrumental in fraud.

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PTI