State sacks Jammu & Kashmir Bank boss
The Jammu and Kashmir administration led by governor Satya Pal Malik on Saturday removed the chairman of J&K Bank before sleuths from the state’s anti-corruption bureau carried out searches at the bank’s corporate headquarters in Srinagar.
Official sources said the vigilance sleuths were looking for documents related to hundreds of alleged back-door appointments and other bunglings that reportedly took place during Parvez Ahmad’s tenure.
Ahmad had been appointed the bank’s chairman-cum-managing director by PDP boss and then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, whose reign ended when the BJP withdrew support last year. Ahmad’s three-year term was to have ended in October.
A spokesperson for the anti-corruption bureau said a case had been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act to look into allegations related to illegal/fraudulent appointments made in JK Bank.
The state government owns 59 per cent shares in the bank, which is listed on the NSE and the BSE.
Ahmad said he was open to scrutiny. “Absolutely no regrets. Did my job most diligently, honestly and in the best interest of the institution. Open to scrutiny on each and every transaction I have done during my two decades of functioning in the bank,” Ahmad tweeted soon after the raids.
A letter addressed to the bank’s company secretary and signed by Vishal Sharma, additional secretary to the government, finance department, said: “Parvez Ahmed shall cease to be Director on the Board of Directors of the Bank and consequently be no longer the chairman cum managing director of the board.”
The government has appointed R.K. Chhibber as interim chairman-cum-managing director of the bank. “These directions shall come into effect immediately,” the order says.
Chhibber is the first person from outside the Valley to head the bank in a long time.
An official spokesperson said the government has decided “to take long-term measures to improve the functioning of the bank”.
“As a first step, the government has decided to change its nominee director on the board of JK Bank, Mr Parvez Ahmed, who is also the chairman and managing director,” the spokesperson said.
The government, the spokesperson added, has decided to constitute a search committee to identify a suitable panel of names to consider for subsequent appointment of a managing director.