Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission (SAC) has ordered a regular inquiry into the alleged role of deputy chief minister Tara Chand in the illegal appointments in urban local bodies.
A division bench of the commission, comprising chairman justice (retd) YP Nargotra and justice (retd) Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, on Monday directed for a regular inquiry into the allegations of misuse of official position by Chand in the illegal recruitments carried out during his tenure as the urban development minister.
Since the commission does not have any investigating officials at present, the bench requested advocate general of the state MI Qadri to assist the SAC in the inquiry.
The commission also issued a notice to the deputy chief minister with the direction to respond to allegations within six weeks.
The case has been listed for hearing on July 8.
Thousands of illegal appointments in urban local bodies across the state came to the fore last year. The appointment letters were issued by executive officers or presidents of the municipal committees of various areas in the state in violation of the rules.
A complaint was filed before the SAC by one Saaqib Mushtaq who alleged that Chand had "misused his official position and by means of corruption, favouritism and nepotism and appointed scores of people in public employment."
The bench, in its order, observed that Chand had not denied the charges in statement but had claimed to have taken cognisance of the illegal appointments and ordered two inquiries.
"Though an inquiry has been ordered in the matter, the conspicuous silence of the respondent about his role in the appointments cited above, makes the respondent prima facie liable for violation of the rules," the bench said in the order.
"Copies of the engagement orders, placed on file as annexure to the complaint, also show prima facie that these engagements have been made in gross violation of the rules," the bench added.