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HC directs ACB to initiate enquiry in selection of Anganwari workers

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STATE TIMES NEWS

JAMMU: Justice Rahul Bharti of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court, in a service writ petition, has directed Anti-Corruption Bureau Rajouri to undertake an enquiry for purpose of ascertaining culpability, departmental or criminal, if any, on part of the official respondents who then constituted the Selection Committee and on the part of respondent Raj Kumar. Court further directed that in case, prima facie, factual basis is found to be there for booking the erring officials and the respondent, then to take or propose requisite legal course of action against erring officials/persons involved. This significant judgment was passed in a petition filed by Ranjan Devi who is a below poverty line belonging young woman having husband with 50 per cent upper limb permanent disability. The petitioner, who was supposed to be engaged as being at number one position in panel, as an Anganwadi Worker on meager monthly honorarium, got duped of said entitlement by contrivance on part of Sarpanch of village to get his daughter-in-law engaged, in which three government officials lend their full role and petitioner has chosen to fight for her right and this writ petition is for seeking justice in her cause.
Justice Rahul Bharti after hearing senior Adv Surinder Kour with Adv Manpreet Kour for petitioner, observed that power, be it legislative, judicial and/or executive, is inherently chaste in its very existence, composition and character-wise, meant for amelioratory end or purpose of the State and its subjects but has an ever attending risk of abuse in course of its use and exercise at the hands of its repository ending up in a produce of perversion.
Court ordered that though the immediate consequence of setting aside of engagement of the respondent as Anganwadi worker for Anganwadi Centre Ghai Panyas ought to follow with the recovery of the entire amount of honorarium paid all along with effect from the date of engagement of the respondent as such, but that would be amounting to punish a person who herself was not privy to the fraud which was orchestrated by the respondent and the three member Selection Committee comprising of the officials of the time. Thus, this Court cannot dispense with the call of the situation to bring under scanner the role of the officers of the time along with that of the respondent in enacting the fraud and for this directs the ACB Rajouri to undertake an enquiry in the matter for the purpose of ascertaining the culpability, departmental or criminal, if any, on the part of the official respondents who then constituted the Selection Committee and on the part of the respondent. In case, if any, prima facie, factual basis is found to be there for booking the erring officials and the respondent, then to take or propose requisite legal course of action against erring officials/persons involved. Court further ordered that the petitioner is held entitled to be engaged as an Anganwari Worker for Anganwari Centre Ghai Panyas, Panchayat Kangri Upper, Block Sunderbani and for this requisite order of engagement of the petitioner be issued either by the Director Social Welfare Department, Jammu, or by directing the concerned competent official to issue the same within a period of two months from the date of passing of this judgement. The engagement of the petitioner as Anganwari Worker shall be deemed to be with retrospective effect on notional basis.