Probe into Gulmarg land scam indicts LG’s advisor Baseer Khan again

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Baseer Ahmad Khan, a retired IAS official who is now Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor, has been indicted again by the Jammu and Kashmir Anti- corruption bureau for his alleged role in 2009 Gulmarg land scam, Indian Express reported.

Mr. Khan was named Advisor by the Centre in March this year.

On 11 June this year, the Court of Special Judge, Anti-Corruption, Baramulla, hearing the case since 2012, asked the ACB to investigate the “impact” of two documents “regarding the involvement of the accused in the case and produce the supplementary chargesheet” on 10 October.

The two documents were a letter written by Special Secretary (Law) to Commissioner/Secretary, General Administrative Department, on 15 September, 2016; and the opinion of the then Advocate General sought by the Law department regarding grant of sanction for prosecution against the accused officials on 23 March, 2011.

A detailed report, submitted to the court by Senior Superintendent of Police, ACB, Baramulla, states that the “two communications referred for further investigation by the Hon’ble Court of Special Judge Anti-Corruption, Baramulla, do not alter the culpability/involvement of accused public servants and private beneficiaries chargesheeted before the competent court on 25-09-2012 and 21-09-2013.”

In 2009, the State Vigilance Organisation (now ACB) registered a case against 20 people, including Mr. Khan who was then the Baramulla Deputy Commissioner, and six other top bureaucrats, for allegedly misusing their official positions to transfer state land in Gulmarg, earmarked for development of tourist infrastructure, to private parties.

This, the SVO said, was in violation of the J-K State Lands (Vesting of Ownership to the Occupants) Act, 2001 or Roshni Act.

According to the chargesheet, the probe concluded that the accused officials, including Khan, entered into a “criminal conspiracy” with the beneficiaries, manipulated records, violated the Roshni Act to illegally transfer the ownership of state land to private parties.
Khan was arrested on 23 September, 2013 by the SVO on the charge of corruption. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had granted sanction for his prosecution on 21 August, 2013.

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