A decade-old scam returned to haunt former chief minister Farooq Abdullah on Thursday as the Jammu and Kashmir high court ordered the CBI to probe if members of the state cricket association embezzled Rs 113 crore when the National Conference leader was its president.
Ten office-bearers of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA), including Abdullah, are accused of turning the sports body into a lending agency and operating several bogus accounts between 2005 and 2012 when the scam was unearthed.
A division bench of the high court comprising chief justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and justice BL Bhat set a deadline of six months for the country’s premier investigating agency to complete the probe.
The judgement on a petition seeking an inquiry into the misappropriation of funds was earlier reserved by the bench.
“The very fact that the President of the JKCA (Farooq Abdullah) is a tall political personality having served as the Chief Minister of the state besides having a tenure as Union Minister in the previous regime, whose complicity is alleged in granting approval to two contradictory resolutions ...render it imperative that the investigation is transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation,” the court said in its 17-page order on the PIL filed by cricketers Majid Yaqoob Dar and Nissar Ahmad Khan.
The scam came to light in March 2012 when JKCA treasurer Manzoor Wazir filed a police complaint against former general secretary Mohammad Saleem Khan and former treasurer Ahsan Mirza.
Soon, a list with around 50 names linked to the financial scandal was out.
Abdullah lost the post of JKCA president in June this year after holding it for more than three decades.