KCC&I Office Bearers has not been restrained from “claiming, projecting, acting, working and further continuing and holding the posts of office of KCC&I” by The Hon’ble Court

KCC&I Office Bearers has not been restrained from “claiming, projecting, acting, working and further continuing and holding the posts of office of KCC&I” by The Hon’ble Court

Srinagar: A spokesperson of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry today termed legal proceedings against the KCC&I on the basis of false and factually incorrect pleadings as an act of sheer desperation by an influential lobby led by some erstwhile office bearers and senior members.

It was unfortunate that such mischievous conspiracies were being hatched at a time when the business community of Kashmir, being in the grips of unprecedented stress and instability, needed the full attention of the KCC&I in watching over and protecting the interests of persons connected with trade, commerce and industry. The effective highlighting of social and economic issues by the KCC&I had unnerved a section of members having a vested interest in weakening the voice of the business community.

He stated that the legal proceedings were aimed at disruption of the smooth functioning of the KCC&I with the misplaced hope of blocking criminal proceedings proposed with regard to a case of diversion of funds, creation of liabilities due to which losses in the vicinity of Rs 25 lakhs had so far been detected with regard to events held during 2017-18. The Executive Committee had resolved to recover the embezzled amount from the erstwhile office bearers and in this regard a final notices of demand had been issued to them on the 15th of June, 2020. The high and mighty had apparently taken offence at being served with showcause and demand notices. The petitioners, being their known associates, were acting as a front in the Hon’ble Court with the aim of creating diversions and impeding the process of accountability.

The spokesperson stated that no amount of pressure would thwart the unmasking of these unscrupulous elements and they would not be allowed to exploit the legal system to cover up their unholy acts. The members of the KCC&I be assured that the office bearers would dutifully follow up on the directions of the Executive Committee and recover all the losses caused to the Chamber and ensure that transparency and accountability was restored.

Wide publicity has been given by a group of members of KCC&I to the Order of the Hon’ble Court of the 4th Additional District Judge, Srinagar dated 20th of June, 2020. Though the Hon’ble Court in the said order did not provide for giving it’s order publicity through newspapers and social media but the members at whose instance the Hon’ble Court has intervened in the matter have tried to show KCC&I in bad light. The Hon’ble Court has rejected the prayer for restraining the office bearers from “claiming, projecting, acting, working and further continuing and holding the posts of office of KCC&I”.

Two cases have been filed against KCC&I. In one case a group of five persons have stated that the Executive Committee should have conducted elections of KCC&I in September, 2019. In the other case, a group of persons have challenged the showcause notice which was issued by the KCC&I for recovery of the wrong and misapplied funds of the KCC&I.

The KCC&I had decided to contest the suits. Since the Order of the Hon’ble Court has been given wide publicity, it is considered necessary in public interest to respond generally to the case set out by these persons in the Hon’ble Court.

It is sheer absurd to contend that elections should have been conducted in September, 2019. In saying so this group of persons have betrayed either their innocence or deep rooted conspiracy or have acted at the behest of some other members. In September 2019, it was impossible to hold elections of KCC&I of which more than 1300 are the electors, consequent to abrogation of Article 370 on 5th of August, 2019 followed by snapping of internet, communications and above all prohibitory restrictions throughout the Valley, in particular city of Srinagar. The Constitution of KCC&I allows the Executive Committee, from which office bearers are elected to continue to function as such till the holding of the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Since elections could not be held, no AGM could be convened, the Executive Committee and it’s office bearers had the right to continue till the next AGM is held. The elections also could not be held on account of COVID lockdown. Detailed written statements in this behalf will be made in the Hon’ble Court which has restricted operation of it’s Order only till the 27thof June, 2020.

In the other case, the KCC&I after examination of the records of the accounts relating to the year 2017-18 discovered that several lakhs of rupees had been spent and expenditure incurred on matters, which have either not incurred or shown to have been spent in purchase of material which was never received, inflated accounts of expenditure were shown etc. The matter was considered by the Executive Committee in several meetings to discuss the results of the probe and thereafter decided that the amount needs to be recovered from those who were responsible for it’s misappropriation. Eventually notices were issued to four members in the first instance demanding the recovery of the amount. Notices were also issued to Chairman, Trade Fair Sub-Committee (2017-18) for not cooperating with the Executive Committee in providing insight into the shown expenditure.

Be that as it may, the KCC&I will in due course of time respond to the legal proceedings and bring truth on record.
For: The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry

 

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