Graft charges against top J-K police officers for illegally leasing out land to restaurant owner
Cases were registered against unnamed senior officials of the Armed Police Headquarters and two battalions under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
SRINAGAR: Two cases of corruption have been registered by the crime branch of the Jammu and Kashmir police against its own officers for allegedly causing loss to the exchequer by leasing out land to a restaurant owner without permission.
According to the two FIRs, available with PTI, the cases were registered against unnamed senior officials of the Armed Police Headquarters and two battalions under various sections of the Ranbir Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act.
The officials belong to the Armed Police Headquarters, of the 9th battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police (JKAP) and the 10th India Reserve Police (IRP) battalion were both in FIRs. The FIRs also name a restaurant owner as an accused.
The offence took place in 2014.
The FIRs mention "acts omitted and committed on behalf of officers of the Armed Police Headquarters and public servant/officers of JKAP 9th battalion and 10th battalion of IRP constitute an commission of offence punishable" for criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
Two agreements were entered into by the respective commandants of the 9th battalion of the JKAP and the 10th battalion of IRP.
"In both the agreements entered into by the respective commandants of 9th battalion of JKAP and 10th battalion of IRP, the terms and conditions of the agreements have been structured in such a manner so as to benefit the proprietor unduly," the FIRs said.
One of the commandants heading these battalions is at present posted as Senior Superintendent of Police of a district whereas the other has been promoted as Deputy Inspector General. The officer heading the Armed Police then is at present posted at the Centre.
The first case pertains to the leasing of government land to the restaurant owner for running an eatery even though the officers did not have the authority to lease out the land.
The FIR alleged the officials of the 10th IRP battalion "under a well designed criminal conspiracy" rented out land at Gulshan ground, adjacent to the green belt area of Jammu, to a Srinagar-based businessman through an "illegal agreement" dated March 14, 2014, for jointly operating and managing a restaurant on police premises.
It alleged that the officials "dishonestly alloted or rented the government land to the beneficiary (private person) to confer undue benefit upon themselves and the beneficiary".
The second case pertains to the leasing of land at the police golf course adjacent to the picturesque Dal Lake.
The FIR in this case said the agreement of May 19, 2014, "was found to be executed by officers or officials despite having knowledge that the property belongs to the government and entrusted to them in the capacity of public servants, having no authority/competence to rent out the property without proper approval" from the government.
It is alleged that the officials of the 9th battalion, as part of a criminal conspiracy, rented out properties of the Lake View Golf Centre cum Environmental and Training Park located at Boulevard road in Srinagar to the restaurant owner "to confer undue benefits upon themselves" and the restaurateur.
Correspondence made in this regard by the Armed Police Headquarters reveals that instead of taking the matter up with the government, the subordinate units were directed to proceed, the FIR said.