Govt divulges names under consideration
3 Former Chief Justices, 5 Justices In Fray
SAC SELECTION PANEL MEETING TODAY
Srinagar, July 17: In a significant move, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has disclosed in advance the names of persons under consideration for the coveted posts of State Accountability Commission (SAC) chairman and members, a day before the Selection Committee is scheduled to meet here amid public focus.
Highly placed government sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that a panel of eight persons, including three former chief justices and five judges from the J&K High Court, are in the consideration zone. The names have been forwarded to the members of the Selection Committee, which is meeting here on July 18.
The Commission shall consist of a chairperson who has been a judge of the Supreme Court or a judge of a High Court and two members who have also been the High Court judges.
The former Chief Justices and judges under consideration include Justice Bashir Ahmad Khan, Justice VK Gupta, Justice Bilal Nazki, Justice SK Gupta, Justice Yash Paul Nargotra, Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani, Rattan Chand Gandhi and Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain.
Ahead of the crucial meeting, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party had two days back urged the government to intimate to the committee, in advance, the names of persons under consideration, to ensure “greater transparency in the selection process.”
The SAC selection panel is headed by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Law Minister, Speaker of Legislative Assembly and Leader of Opposition as its members
The SAC chairperson and members shall hold the portfolios for three years from the date they enter the office or when they attain the age of 70 years, whichever is earlier.
“The Government has also forwarded Bio-Data of the persons under consideration to the Selection Committee members,” said an official in the State Law Department. “It is a transparency measure. The move would give a chance to the committee members to reflect upon the names and frame a better response.”
The disclosure of the names has put to rest the speculations that Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakroo was being considered for the SAC chairman.
According to the observers, the panel members must try to evolve a consensus on the selections so that the Commission is constituted after years of inordinate delay. “Let there be no politics over the issue. It is better if the panel members debate on the names in a healthy manner and evolve a consensus on the selections,” said the official. “It is after a great difficulty that all the members have agreed to be a part of the meeting. So everyone can understand the importance of this meeting.”
Pertinently since 2006, the Government has been making recurring claims on re-constituting the SAC after its first chairman Justice RP Sethi resigned in protest against alleged interference by the state government in its functioning. Since then Justice GL Raina who was member of the commission served as its acting chairman till his retirement in 2008 while Justice Muzaffar Jan, the only left-over member of the commission, retired in October 2009.
A bill to establish the SAC was introduced in the state legislature in 2002, with the then Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Muzaffar Hussain Baig announcing that the Commission would help to bring to book the politicians involved in corrupt practices. Later, the bill was passed and it became an Act, thus forming the SAC.
Recently the Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission Act of 2003 was amended under the banner of J&K State Accountability Commission (Amendment) Act, 2011. The latter is now being referred to as the “Principal Act.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 17 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jul 2011 00:00:00 IST
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