Chandigarh: DFO fails to get any relief from High Court in assets case

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In August 2019, the Lokayukta had recommended action against DFO Jagmohan and the same was accepted by the state government later.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by Haryana Divisional Forest Officer Jagmohan Sharma against an order passed by Haryana Lokayukta recommending action against him for allegedly holding disproportionate assets.

A single bench of the High Court on September 18, 2019, had declined to interfere with the order passed by Lokayukta in August 2018 against Jagmohan, who was the District Forest Officer, Pinjore, in 2015. On Friday, a division bench of Chief Justice Ravi Shanker Jha and Justice Arun Palli dismissed the appeal filed by Jagmohan and his wife.

A complaint had been filed before the Lokayukta in 2015 alleging that Jagmohan had purchased two properties worth Rs1.25 crore in the name of his wife Usha Sharma in 2008 with the money earned by illegal means and corruption. The complainant had also alleged that Jagmohan had brought other properties also in the name of his wife and other relatives which can be disclosed by him during the investigation. In August 2019, the Lokayukta had recommended action against him and the same was accepted by the state government later.

Jagmohan had challenged the order on the grounds that he’s already an accused in a case of embezzlement of funds relating to MGNREGA scheme at Ambala, arguing the complainant before Lokayukta had alleged that it was from same embezzled amount that he had purchased the properties in 2008 in Kalka. The contention raised before the court was that guilt of the accused is yet to be established by the trial court in the 2015 FIR and under such circumstances, the recommendations of the Lokayukta be kept in abeyance till the culmination of the trial in the 2015 FIR.

An FIR was registered against him and others in 2015 for the alleged MNREGA scam and charges have already been framed in the matter. He was also proceeded departmentally on the basis of same allegations, the plea said.