Jammu and Kashmir Government on Friday suspended three officers including Assistant Regional Transport Officer (ARTO) Kupwara and two Motor Vehicle Inspectors as Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has already registered a case against them.

"Pending enquiry, the three officers/officials of Transport Department are hereby placed under suspension, with immediate effect, in terms of Rule-31 of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Services (Classification, Control & Appeal) Rules. 1956," reads the order issued by Commissioner/Secretary, General Administration department J&KManoj Kumar Dwivedi on Friday.

The officers, who were placed under suspension include Mohammad Mukhtar Sofi (ARTO, Kupwara), Khursheed Ahmad Kanna (Motor Vehicle Inspector), and Abdul Hamid Bhat (Motor Vehicle Inspector).

ACB, anti corruption bureau

It is further ordered that Transport Department shall initiate departmental proceedings regular departmental inquiry against the suspended officer/officials in terms of extant rules.
During the suspension, the suspendees shall remain attached with the Office of Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir.


Suspended officials were earlier arrested by ACB

In September this year, the ACB had arrested ARTO Kupwara, Motor Vehicle Inspectors, and a broker for corrupt practices.

The ACB had conducted a surprise check into the allegation that ARTO Kupwara had illegally planted a person Bilal Ahmad Sheikh of Vilgam Kupwara to run all the affairs of his office like driving test, replacement of driving license, fitness license, learning license, audit approval, registration and print card for minting money by illegal means.

The surprise check was conducted at the site of the driving test in association with Executive Magistrate 1st Class Handwara.

During a surprise check, the accused Sheikh was found actively involved in conducting the driving tests with the officials of ARTO, Kupwara.

138 original driving licenses recovered from the possession of the broker

During the search, sleuths of ACB had recovered 138 original driving licenses from the personal car of the broker who was allegedly deputed by ARTO.

Besides driving licenses various other incriminating materials like provisional appointment slips for driving tests, application reference slips, application for addition of new class of vehicles, and journey sheets of vehicles were recovered from his possession.

A case under FIR No 09/2021 was registered at Police Station ACB Baramulla under Section 7(c) of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 and Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code against the members of Driving Testing Trial Board Kupwara and broker.

The investigation revealed that there was a complete nexus among the accused officers of the Transport Department and the brokers to fleece the people.