Inside Kashmir

Housing scam worth over Rs 1000 crore unearthed by ACB in J&K

Srinagar: The Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in J&K on Sunday registered a case in a scam worth Rs 1,000 crore involving the Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Housing Corporation and HUDCO loan default case, wherein large amounts of loans were diverted and state land encroached and sold illegally.

A spokesman for the ACB said that a preliminary inquiry was started on the basis of a complaint received from the General Administration Department (GAD) J&K, to look into the allegations of J&K Cooperative Housing Corporation (JKCHC) which was registered in the year 1982 by the then Registrar of J&K Cooperative Societies to provide housing facilities to the people.

He said JKCHC had defaulted in the repayment of the loan amount to the tune of Rs 40.63 crore raised from HUDCO. J&K Government had acted as the guarantor and 70 per cent of the capital was owned by the government.

The spokesman said the complaint further revealed as on 26.07.2017, an amount of Rs 90 crores including interest was outstanding against the Corporation. HUDCO had further blacklisted the government till liquidation of the outstanding loan and no further loan facilities were granted by HUDCO for execution of various projects in J&K.

The inquiry further revealed that JKCHC availed around 27 loan facilities from HUDCO with effect from 1991 to 2001 for acquisition and development of lands for constructing of housing colonies in J&K.

He said the prominent colonies are Kud Housing Colony, Davik Housing, Kalu Chak, Swarn Vihar, Tawi Vihar Housing Colony, Swarn Vihar and Peer Bagh Housing Colony. JKCHCL defaulted in payment in the loan and as on 31.11.2020 an amount of Rs 1,006 crore approximately is outstanding for repayment to HUDCO.

The inquiry has also revealed that the Chairman, Managing Directors and other officials who were at the helm affairs in JKCHCL had diverted and misappropriated the loan amounts to the tune of Rs 23.12 crores for various other purposes.

He said it indicated that the management of JKCHCL conspired with each other and other unknown officials had deliberately defaulted in the repayment of the loans due to which the accounts became NPA and the outstanding amount was created. The inquiry has revealed that there has been illegal modification in the norms and bye laws of JKCHCL and encroachment upon government land and community land for development of housing schemes which were later sold off for a profit. Even the OTS amount arrived at with the intervention of the government was not repaid by the JKCHCL. Subsequently an FIR was registered on the basis of the omissions and commissions disclosed during the inquiry on the part of the then Chairman, Managing Director (MD) Brij Bhushan Sharma and other officials of the management of the JKCHCL and unknown officials of the government u/s 5(1)(c), 5(1)(d) read with sections 5(2) of JK PC Act Svt 2006 and Ss. 409, 120-B RPC.

He said searches were conducted after obtaining warrants from the court at the residential premises of the then MD B B Sharma, the office premises of JKCHCL and of JK Housing & Tourism Society/ Corporation being operated by Mr Sharma. Incriminating documents and articles have been recovered in the searches conducted.

Further investigation of the case is going on, he said.

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