Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission (SAC) has begun an enquiry against cooperatives minister following allegations of embezzlement of crores of rupees and illegal appointments in the department.
"On consideration of the matter, we find a prima facie case is made out for regular enquiry. Accordingly we proceed to hold a regular enquiry against cooperative department minister Manohar Lal Sharma and other officers named in the compliant," a division bench of SAC said in its order passed yesterday.
The bench comprising SAC chairman Justice Y P Nargotra and Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain said it appears the earlier management of JK cooperative housing corporation has not made expenditure of the development funds in a judicious way which has resulted in financial mismanagement.
"It appears that gross irregularities have been committed by the officers of the cooperative housing corporation and the minister for cooperative department has failed to exercise an effective control over the functioning of the corporation. This would show there was lack of proper control and inaction on the part of minister concerned," the order reads.
SAC has directed state vigilance organisation, which is also probing the case, to inform it about the present status of the investigation.
It also issued notices for personal appearance, or through their counsels, to the minister and several officials including the then commissioner secretary cooperative department, the then registrar cooperatives, former and present managing directors of the cooperative housing corporation, chairman Jammu central cooperative bank, in-charge co-operative bank Srinagar, Baramulla and assistant registrar cooperative department.
According to a complaint by Farooq Ahmad Dar and Sunil Sharma, a departmental inquiry had revealed massive embezzlement to the tune of hundreds of crores but no action was taken after that.
The complainants have also alleged that the minister and his officers appointed 387 employees illegally.