“Scanned” signatures of retired EO, old dispatch number, date used for “engagement”
Sopore, Dec 5: A day after Chief Minster Mehbooba Mufti ordered an enquiry into the “fake” disability certificate Scandal in Bandipora, another “Scandal” of “fake” appointment orders has surfaced in north Kashmir. Mocking at Chief Minister’s promise of ensuring transparency and corruption free Administration, the Urban Local Bodies Kashmir continues to remain a golden mine for “corrupt” officers who seem to have now become so daring that even anti graft bodies like Vigilance Organisation and Crime Branch seems hands down in front of them. The Municipal Council Sopore in north Kashmir is yet again in the eye of storm with another batch of more than 130 “illegal” appointments coming to fore. This time it is “safiwalas” engagement on a “fake” order with possibly a “scanned” signatures of a retired Executive Officer. What is interesting the orders of engagement carries the number date of an order which actually was issued to disengage them way back in 2015. The “unbelievable” alleged fraud has costed lakhs of rupees to the Local Bodies, yet the higher authorities have been busy in shielding the accused officer and his accomplices allowing him to become a serial offender.
“The Assistant Accounts Officer of Directorate of Local Bodies Kashmir has instructed telephonically that the wages of the labourers released for month of August, September, October 2014 in the month of 2014 be worked out and be recovered from the concerned and their services be discontinued forthwith, since the labourers are working on Sanitation Job.” reads a communication of then Executive Officer Ab. Rashid Dar to Director Local Bodies vide Number MC/Spr/Estt/1261_62 dated 01_01_2015 , which is also mentioned in the dispatch register of the council,( a copy of both ) is lying with a news agency. Following this communication, the Executive Officer had issued a formal discontinuation order vide Number MC/Spr/Estt/1263_66 dated 01-01-2015.
“The Asstt. Accounts Officer Director Local Bodies Kashmir has instructed telephonically that the wages of the labourers be recovered for the months of September/October 2014 and the services of the labourers be discontinued forthwith.
Accordingly in view of the instructions of the higher authorities, you are hereby directed to recover the wages of the labourers for 8,9 and 10/2014 and stop the utilisation of labour work of the labourers from 1_1_2015 till further orders.” Reads the order of then EO, a copy of which lies with a news agency.
However, what followed next is “unbelievable”. Another order of the same number date has surfaced in the Council in early this year surprisingly with a different content. The order this time is that of engagement, not the discontinuation. This time the list of 27 engages is also enclosed.
“Whereas, the Municipality has not been in a position to utilise their services continuously, owing to financial constraints which have affected the sanitation and hygiene of the town.
Whereas, the internal sources which supposed to be utilised for the civic amenities of the town, including the wages of sanitation staff were absorbed in the extra budget employees appointed in Municipal Council Sopore whose salaries have been stopped now which has given an opportunity to the Municipality to save these resources for civic amenities.
Now, taking in view the facts and figures, and to ensure proper sanitation of the Town, all such persons are utilised as consolidated safiwalaas in the Municipality on minimum wages of Rs. 4500/=by debit to normal resources OF Municipal Council Sopore.” Reads the another “ambiguous” order of the same Number date MC/Spr/1261_62 dated 01_01-2015, a copy of which also lies with Kashmir news service The insiders in the Council said that signatures on the “ambiguous” order were possibly scanned and the order was “fake” issued in 2017 by the then Executive Officer in compliance with then Secretary and a sanitation officer who was considered very close to him.
The same sanitation officer has recommended another list of person for engagement as labourers who were later engaged on his recommendation, though without any permission from Director Local Bodies.
Sources said that scores of people have been either promoted or regularized without any prior approval from Director which has costed Council heavily. Locals have appealed Chief Minster for intervention. They said even Vigilance organisation has been ‘reluctant in taking action against the accused officer and his accomplices despite many FIRs and investigations pending against him.
Meanwhile Director Local Bodies Kashmir Manzoor Ahmad said that he would look into the matter and bring all the documents to scrutiny. (KNS)