ACB files case against then President, officials of MC Thanamandi, others for misappropriation of funds

SRINAGAR — Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday said to have registered a case against the then President, two officials of Municipal Committee, Thanamandi and others for misappropriation of funds.

A statement reads that ACB registered a case under FIR number 01/2024 at Police Station ACB Rajouri under section 5(1)(c) )(d) r/w section 5(2) of Prevention of Corruption Act, Svt. 2006 and section 120-B RPC against Shakeel Ahmed Mir, then President Municipal Committee Thanamandi, Mushtaq Ahmed, then Executive Officer, Riyaz Ahmed, then Storekeeper and other officers/officials of Municipal Committee Thanamandi as well as against Proprietor of M/s Gouri Sales Agencies and others.

“The instant case was registered on the outcome of verification conducted by ACB into the allegations that Municipal Committee Thanamandi, Rajouri invited tenders for installation of street lights in the limits of Municipal Committee vide number MC/T/19/193-97 dated 06-03-2019 worth lakhs of rupees for specific brands as well as specifications i.e., Havells, Syska or Philips with two years guarantee/replacement, but the concerned Executive Officer, by abuse of his official position, connived with supplier firm and accepted supply of LED bulbs of very inferior quality instead of quoted brands,” the statement added.

During the course of verification, it surfaced that President Municipal Committee Thanamandi Rajouri invited tender notice vide number MC/T/19/193-97 dated 06-03-2019 for purchase of street lights having specific brands mentioned above. As per record, 100 streetlights of 60 watt, make Mos-Lites, were received from M/S Gouri Sales Agencies in Municipal Committee Thanamandi instead of prescribed brand i.e., Syska/Havells/Philips, the statement said.

“The same was found entered in receipt register without mentioning of date of receipt as well as brand. Out of said 100 street lights, only 42 lights were identified by staff of Municipal Committee Thanamandi, whereas 58 lights could not be traced. These lights were also found purchased on exorbitant rates,” it added.

The verification conducted further revealed that Mushtaq Ahmed, then Executive Officer Municipal Committee Thanamandi, without initiation of any tendering process issued another supply order vide No. MC/T/2019/108A dated 16-05-2019 to said M/S Gouri Sales Agencies for purchase of 150 LED street lights of 45 watt, 150 LED bulbs of 40 watts etc. on the rates already approved by Municipal Committee Thanamandi for the year 2018-19., it said.

“However, no such LED street lights & LED bulbs etc. so purchased through the said supply order, were found received in Municipal Committee Thanamandi. In this regard, no record has been found in respect of receipt/issuance of such lights and bulbs. But bills against such purchases stand endorsed by Riyaz Ahmed, then Storekeeper of Municipal Committee Thanamandi. It also surfaced that Shakeel Ahmed Mir then President, Mushtaq Ahmed then Executive Officer, Riyaz Ahmed then Storekeeper and other officers/officials of Municipal Committee Thanamandi, by abuse of their official positions and in lieu of criminal conspiracy hatched among themselves as well as Proprietor of M/S Gouri Sales Agencies (supplier firm), released full payment of amount against LED Street lights and LED bulbs purported to be purchased/supplied vide tender notice No. MC/T/19/193-97 dated 06-03-2019 and supply order No. MC/T/2019/108A dated 16-05-2019,” it added.

“By acting in this manner, the above named public servants and others misappropriated/embezzled Govt. money just to confer undue pecuniary benefits to them as well as supplier with corresponding loss to Govt. exchequer on account of LED street lights purchased on exorbitant rates as well as loss on account of non-existent LED street lights and LED Bulbs which came upto Rs 5,96,870/- (approx),” the statement said.

The aforementioned facts constitute commission of offences punishable under section 5(1)(c)(d) r/w 5(2) J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, Svt. 2006 & section 120-B RPC against 1) Shakeel Ahmed Mir, then President, Municipal Committee Thanamandi Rajouri S/o Abdul Aziz Mir R/o Ward No. 07 Thanamandi Rajouri 2) Mushtaq Ahmed, then Executive Officer, Municipal Committee Thanamandi Rajouri (now EO MC Doda) S/o Lal Hussain R/o Fatehpur Tehsil & District Rajouri 3) Riyaz Ahmed, then I/C Sanitary Inspector (Storekeeper) Municipal Committee Thanamandi Rajouri, now posted as Supervisor in MC Doda S/o Amroo R/o Ward No. 07 Rajouri, other officers/officials of Municipal Committee Thanamandi as well as Proprietor of M/s Gouri Sales Agencies and others.

Anti-Corruption Bureau after registration of case under relevant sections of law, also conducted searches with the help of local police/ magistrates/ independent witnesses at residences of above named accused public servants situated in District Rajouri, the statement said, adding that further investigation in the case is going on. — (KNO)