SVC constitution runs into rough weather

Prospective Member Pulls Out Of Race

ABID BASHIR

Srinagar, Jan 12: In a major set back to yet-to-be-constituted maiden State Vigilance Commission (SVC), one of the aspirants has pulled out of the race from appointment as a member of the anti-graft body citing ‘personal reasons’.
Greater Kashmir has learnt from reliable sources that the former Secretary of the General Administration Department (GAD), Muhammad Sayeed Khan, has declined to be in race for membership of SVC, citing personal reasons.
Khan was one of the two former bureaucrats, recommended by a selection panel, headed by the Chief Minister, to take over as member SVC – proposed to be constituted in the state for investigating and trying corruption related complaints against government officials on the pattern of State Accountability Commission (SAC).
“Yes, Khan has refused to be in race for appointment as a member of the Commission,” a top official in state administration, privy to the development, disclosed to Greater Kashmir.
He said Khan, however, has not revealed the exact reason for his decision. “But the reasons might be personal.” The move is likely to further delay establishment of the much-awaited SVC. “A fresh process will now begin to look for a replacement. It will obviously take its own time. The selection committee has to again sit and decide on the probables,” the official said.
They said that in case government adopts the same procedure as it did, while short-listing the names of probables last time, the process will take time more than expected. “The GAD will have to seek names of the eligible candidates from all the government departments. The panel prepared by the GAD will have to go back to the Chief Minister’s office, which will further shortlist the candidates before taking up the matter with the Selection Committee comprising CM, Dy CM, leader of opposition and minister for law and parliamentary affairs”.
Pertinently, after inordinate delay, the state government was now contemplating to make the SVC functional, with former Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda as Chief Vigilance Commissioner while former bureaucrat R K Jerath and Khan as the two Vigilance Commissioners.
According to sources, efforts are on to ‘persuade’ Khan to change his mind. “Many officials are personally approaching him to rethink over his decision. But so far there is no headway,” they said. Khan was supposed to be the Vigilance Commissioner for Kashmir wing of the SVC while Jerath for the Jammu wing.
The formation of SVC ran into controversies since day one. On May 28 last year, the selection panel comprising Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Law Minister Ali Muhammad Sagar and the leader of the opposition, Mehbooba Mufti met in Srinagar to finalize the names for the SVC. However, the meeting ended on a stormy note with PDP chief writing a ‘note of dissent’ against the appointment of former DGP as the CVC in the wake of his alleged involvement in Bhaderwah fake encounter. The same panel had suggested Jeerath and Khan as two VCs of the Commission. Barring Mehbooba, the members had decided to forward the file to the Governor N N Vohra for his consent.
The Governor raised certain queries, which were subsequently responded to by the government in a phased manner.
In November last, the file was cleared after Khoda was exonerated by the High Court in the alleged fake encounter case. The Court dismissed the writ petition against him. The Act for constitution of SVC was passed in the state legislature in 2011 after it amended existing State Accountability Commission Act- restricting it to hear corruption related matters against public representatives alone.

Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sat, 12 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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