In what could spell trouble for the Omar Abdullah government,the J&K high court Fri day asked the Vigilance Organisation for a report on the progress of its probe into misuse of state vehicles and fuel by deputy chief minister Tara Chand and his staff.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey issued the order after the Vigilance argued they would take time to complete the investigation as they had to scrutinise records of 11 departments held by Chand. The judge then listed the case for further hearing on August 1,by when the Vigilance was told the submit the status report.
The court was hearing a plea,filed by Prof S K Bhalla,against the order of the Special Judge,Anti-Corruption,granting the Vigilance four months to complete the investigation. Bhalla argued in his plea that the Vigilance had done no more than collect records for a year and sought a HC-monitored investigation by an SIT.
It was Bhalla who had complained to the Vigilance that Chand and his staff were misusing government vehicles for their personal use and drawing fuel for them from more than one department simultaneously. To substantiate his charges,he had attached with his complaint copies of log books showing how much various departments had spent on vehicles and fuel for the deputy chief minister and his staff.
This is not the only corruption case against the deputy chief minister. Two months ago,the State Accountability Commission ordered a probe into illegal appointments to urban local bodies during the time Chand was minister for urban development and urban local bodies. The commission said that from the material on record,we find a prima facie case is made out for regular inquiry against Chand.