Srinagar: Lieutenant governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Manoj Sinha has said that if corruption charges against his advisor Baseer Khan are proven, he will be removed from the post
Sinha made the comments in an interview with a national newspaper, Indian Express.
“If corruption charges are proved, let me assure you the person will not remain here, whosoever it may be. It is one thing that there is a prima facie charge of allegation, and another that investigations have revealed these to be true. Let us wait for the report,” he said while answering the following question: “You have said you will have zero tolerance for corruption. But you, the LG, have an Advisor (Basheer Ahmad Khan), against whom there are grave corruption charges. How do you justify this?”
The Gulmarg land scandal is one of the high-profile cases where top officials including Khan were booked for allegedly violating the Roshni Act to transfer state land to private persons.
In June this year, Special Judge (Anti-Corruption) Naseer Ahmad Dar had directed the ACB to further investigate the case.
In October, the agency filed a report, indicting Khan once again in the case.
In 2009, the State Vigilance Organisation – now ACB – had registered a case against 20 people, including Khan, the then Baramulla Deputy Commissioner, and six other top bureaucrats, for allegedly misusing their official positions to transfer state land in Gulmarg, earmarked for the development of tourist infrastructure, to private parties.
Khan was arrested on 23 September 2013 on charge of corruption and granted bail the same day. He went on to become Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir. He was given an extension by the current government after superannuation. Subsequently, he was named Advisor by the Centre in March this year.
On Tuesday, the anti-corruption court that had ordered reinvestigation into Gulmarg Land Scam, adjourned the hearing of the case for want of powers in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.