Jammu: Alleging politicization of J&K Bank and its abuse by the rulers for furtherance of their political and economic interests, a strong contingent of panther activists spearheaded by Harsh Dev Singh JKNPP Chairman staged a vociferous protest demonstration outside the Zonal Office of J&K Bank in Jammu today. The agitated protestors accused the State’s largest financial institution of acting as a tool in the hands of corrupt politicians besides indulging in massive frauds and irregularities and torched the effigy of the govt.
Addressing the media, Harsh Singh said that during the past three years several thousands of backdoor appointments had been made in the various branches of J&K Bank without notifying advertisements for the posts or following the formal recruitment process.
He said that there were reports that several candidates were illegally doled jobs in the said bank on the recommendations of the MLAs and Minsters of the ruling clique at the cost of meritorious and deserving candidates who were covertly divested of the opportunity to compete. Rumours were doing rounds that money worth 4-5 lakhs per candidate had exchanged hands to confer favours, Harsh rued. He said that with the post of Bank Chairman always going the Kashmir way, the Jammu youth continued to remain deprived in view of their gross neglect in the hands of a highly biased administration.
He further rebuked the J&KBank for facilitating en-masse illegal appointments under the pretext of enjoying immunity from the scope of RTI Act and judicial scrutiny as it was not amenable to the writ jurisdiction of High Court in view of it not having been declared ‘state’ within the meaning and scope of constitution. Mr. Singh said that BJP-PDP alliance was squarely responsible for breeding corruption, nepotism and favouritism in the sphere of employment which had been a root cause of embitterment among the youth.
Questioning the credibility of J&K Bank, Harsh divulged that earlier on several occasions the said bank had denied the supply of information to the applicants under J&K RTI Act 2009 on the ground that the bank was not a ‘Public Authority’. He said that despite the State government having 59% stakes in the bank equity, it had never been accountable and transparent to the public. The definition of ‘Public Authority’ in Section 2 (f) of J&K RTI Act 2009 included Government institutions, Semi government organizations or Public Sector Undertakings (PSU’s) and even private educational institutions and Non Government Organisations (NGO’s) if they were substantially financed by the Government, Harsh said.
He demanded high level probe into all the whimsical and illicit back door appointments made by the J&K Bank in the last three years. He said that the law should also take its course against the tainted leaders, politicians and bank officials for their involvement in various frauds, financial irregularities and backdoor appointments which had not only dented the credibility of Bank but also put the future of the highly qualified and talented youth in jeopardy.