The Jammu and Kashmir administration ordered the premature retirement of nine employees of the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUDD) on the charges of corruption under Article 226(2) of the Jammu and Kashmir Civil services Regulations, Departmental Committees of J-K confirmed on Friday.

The charges against the said nine officers were confirmed by the Departmental Committees and were upheld by the designated review committee under Article 226(2), which includes misappropriation of funds, falsification of records and raising fake bills, allowing illegal constructions, committing financial irregularities and making illegal appointments during their tenure in various Urban Local Bodies (ULBS). Earlier also, many officials faced probes by the Anti-Corruption Bureau and were also suspended. Article 226(2) of the J-K Civil Services Regulations, 1956 allows the government employees to be retired in “public interest” upon completing the 22 years of qualifying service or attaining 48 years of age.

Such employees are retired with a three-month notice or three months of pay. However, they retain their pensionary benefits. The nine employees of Housing and Urban Development Department who face premature retirement include Mehraj-ud-din Buja, I/C Senior Building Officer, Srinagar Municipal Corporation who as Head Assistant Revenue Section, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, was arrested by Vigilance Organization Kashmir in a trap case; Ghulam Mohi-ud-Din Malik, who during his posting as in charge of EO Municipal Council Anantnag was involved in misappropriation, irregularities in financial transactions, illegal constructions, gross negligence and misconduct; Shabir Ahmad Wani, Assistant Sanitation Officer, MC Shopian, who during his posting as in-charge CEO Municipal Council Anantnag was involved in misappropriation, illegal constructions, irregularities in financial transactions, gross negligence, and misconduct; Zakir All, Sanitary Supervisor, MC Doda; Abdul Latief, Head Assistant, MC Banihal; and Sukesh Kumar, Senior Assistant, MC Doda who was involved in financial mismanagement by the drawal of fictitious bills against the non-existing Safalwallas.

The other three employees of the Housing and Urban Development Department ousted for alleged corruption were Gowhar All Tugoo, I/C Secretary, Directorate of Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir, who was involved in cases regarding the illegal appointments and financial irregularities made during his tenure at MC, Sopore; Shagufta Fazil, Secretary, Directorate of Urban Local Bodies, Kashmir who was found involved in embezzlement and unauthorized withdrawal of TA and 7th Pay Commission arrears; and Thakur Dass, Electrician, Municipal Committee Reasi involved in the huge case of embezzlement of funds and financial mismanagement.