Kashmir Indepth

J&K Bank under scanner, ACB seeks details of all appointments since 2015

Srinagar, Jan 3: Jammu and Kashmir Bank, with home thousands of hopes of people of the trouble-ravaged state are tied, is in bad news as the anti-corruption bureau of Kashmir has asked the Bank to provide the list of all the appointments made from January 2015 to November 2018.
The notice to the bank comes close on the heels of a controversy surrounding the recruitment’s being made in the recent past.
The Governor Satya Pal Malik had triggered a storm by saying that there was favoritism in the appointments made by the Bank over the past couple of years. He, however, took a U-turn by stating that “not everything he was told about the Bank was true.”
A copy of notice issued by the ACB, addressed to the chairman of the J&K Bank reads: “Please provide the list of appointments made by the J&K Bank authorities with effect from January 2015 to till date. The matter requires your personal attention in order to dispose of the verification at the earliest.” The copy of notice lies with Kashmir Indepth.
The source said that the ACB notice had already been received by the J&K Bank chairman Pervez Ahmed and he was preparing a response to the notice.
“If ACB won’t be satisfied with the response to be furnished by the Bank chairman, its sleuths under the provisions of the search and scrutiny act, can raid the Bank and seize the records as desired,” the source said. “However, that will be the last step given the repute Bank enjoys in Kashmir for being the State’s most prestigious institute.”
The ACB notice to the Bank would add to the challenge the present chairman is facing in the backdrop of Governor’s SAC decision to turn the Jammu and Kashmir Bank a public sector undertaking. However, the Governor Satya Pal Malik had recently said that the government will re-examine the accountability of the J&K Bank to State Legislature.
It is to mention here that the Governor Malik in an interview to a national news channel, Malik had asserted that around 40 boys came to meet him and told him that “we cleared our exams and interview but we didn’t get appointed in JK BANK, the people who got appointed were either the relatives or were chosen by Government leaders from their own constituencies.” He had further stated that “I called the Jammu and Kashmir Bank Chairman. He told me that the number was not 40 but all 582 youths recruited by the Bank had been replaced with the political appointees, recommended by the leaders from every constituency. I asked the Bank Chairman to give the youth their due. I also called the Finance Secretary and finally a resolution was adopted and all 582 candidates have been given appointment letters.”
Meanwhile in another letter to JK bank in possession of Kashmir- Indepth, the ACB has said, “With regard to the above-mentioned subject, it is informed that keeping in view the secrecy of the complaint and the nature of verification on part of Anti-Corruption Branch J&K, it is not feasible to provide your office the copy of complaint or such relevant details of recruitment scam and malpractices”.
“It is accordingly once again requested to your good self, provide the requisite information requested vide our letter for the legible disposal of the verification and to apprise the higher office regarding the disposal for further course of action at their end. Earlier response into the matter is highly appreciated,” the letter reads.

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