Mehbooba Mufti 'requested' to clarify role in J&K Bank backdoor appointments

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti addresses a press conference in Srinagar on Aug 4, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

Srinagar (IANS) Former J&K Chief Minister and President of Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP), Mehbooba Mufti, has been asked by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to clarify her role in the backdoor appointments made in Jammu and Kashmir Bank on references of some of her former ministers.

ACB Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) has sent a communication to Mufti which said that during the investigations into the backdoor appointments made in the J&K Bank, it has surfaced that some ministers had sent recommendations to the J&K Bank Chairman and on these references backdoor appointments were made.

Mufti has been 'requested' to clarify whether such references had her endorsement, verbal or otherwise. 

Whem asked if her explanation was found to be unsatisfactory, what would be the next legal move by the ACB, sources said, "In that case, she would be summoned to appear before the investigators".

Dozens of backdoor appointments in the J&K Bank came to the surface during the ACB investigations into the working of the bank's sacked chairman, Pervaiz Ahmad Nengroo.

Unearthing of backdoor appointments and virtually unsecured loans to influential businessmen or kith and kin of the then ministers had jolted the reputation of the bank as the state government and the Reserve Bank of India stepped in quickly for course correction in April-May this year.

Assurances to shareholders and depositors have steered the bank out of a crisis situation and efforts are on to sustain and strengthen the largest financial institution of the state.

Mufti has been spearheading the creation of a joint front of all mainstream political parties in Kashmir "to protect the state's special status".

She has convened an all-party meeting at her high security Gupkar Road residence in Srinagar at 6 p.m. on Sunday for the purpose.

She told reporters that since the National Conference President and MP Farooq Abdullah was not keeping well, his son Omar Abdullah would attend the meeting.

She also said the scheduled meeting was to take place in a hotel, but the police had told her that such a meeting would not be allowed there.

In a related development, former legislator and President of Awami Ittehad Party (AIP), Engineer Rashid, is in Delhi after the NIA summoned him to appear before the investigating agency on Sunday.

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