CBI court issues appearance notice to 21 accused including an IAS Officer in J&K gun licence scam

JAMMU — A special CBI court has issued an appearance notice to 21 accused, including a senior IAS officer, in the J&K gun licences issuance scam.

The scam pertains to the issuance of gun licences against gratification to people in J&K between 2012 to 2016.

Bala Jyoti, special judge CBI cases, after hearing a complaint of money laundering filed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) before the court, has ordered appearance of 21 accused including IAS officer Rajeev Ranjan (former DC, Kupwara) and KAS officer Itrat Hussain (former DC, Kupwara) who were arrested by the CBI in the case in 2020.

The court order said, “Perused the contents of the complaint carefully and entire material on record which transpires that prima facie accused person appears to have committed offences (under PMLA) as such process be issued for securing their presence accordingly.

“The office is directed to issue notices to the accused for appearance and for filing their reply on the next date of hearing”.

According to the ED, about 2.78 lakh arms licences were issued to various defence and paramilitary personnel by flouting prescribed guidelines and due procedure in lieu of illicit monetary consideration which was paid to government officers/officials through arms dealers/brokers and proceeds of crime were generated.

In April 2022, the ED attached assets worth Rs 4.69 crore under the anti-money laundering law in the case after carrying out raids against an IAS officer, some KAS officers and government officials and arms dealers a month earlier.

The agency claimed to have seized incriminating documents that allegedly indicate transactions between weapon dealers and bureaucrats in issuance of illegal arms licenses in Jammu and Kashmir between 2012 and 2016.

“Government functionaries of J&K in connivance with many arms dealers, brokers of J&K have brazenly flouted the norms, procedure and rules for issuing arms licenses in lieu of monetary considerations by abuse of their official position as public servants and generated huge proceeds of crime”, the ED complaint said. — (IANS)