High Court hears suggestions on amending anti-corruption act

Directs Chief Secretary To Furnish Report On Steps Taken To Amend 2006 Legislation


Srinagar, July 4: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court Thursday directed the State Vigilance Commission to submit its report on recommendations for amending the JK prevention of Corruption Act to the Chief Secretary within a week.
 The court asked the Chief Secretary to submit status report in respect of steps taken for amending the Act by or before next date of hearing on July 18.
 A division bench comprising Justice Verinder Singh and Justice Muzaffar Hussain directed the State government to delineate as to how it has responded to the suggestions of the Vigilance Organization for creation of two Special Courts for trying the offences under the provisions of the Act, one each at Srinagar and Jammu.
 The Court said the Chief Secretary of the State has to state as to how the State Government has dealt with the recommendations of the High Court made on administrative side for creation of two Mobile Courts for trying the offences under the Act of 2006.
 It also directed the Chief Secretary to consider suggestions made at Bar in respect of proposed amendments to be made in the act.
 Today in open court certain suggestions in respect of making amendments in the Act were made which include as to why the maximum punishment under the Prevention of corruption Act should not be 20 years and the minimum seven years.
 It was also suggested that in case after receipt of report/record from Vigilance Organization, if competent authority does not accord sanction for prosecution within a period of one month, it should be deemed to have been granted.
 It was also suggested that more trained investigating officers should be posted/appointed in Vigilance Organization and time limit should be prescribed for concluding the investigation. It was suggested that Amendment should be made in the prevention of Corruption Act, which would ensure that once the charge is framed, the trial shall continue on day-today basis till its conclusion.
 “The investigation officer shall be responsible to ensure attendance of the prosecution witnesses before the trial court and shall remain available before the court as and when the case is taken up for consideration during the trial,” was suggested at Bar.
 The Court also directed the Commissioner Secretary to Social Welfare Department to provide information in a tabulated form as to how much monetary benefit is being provided to women/poor girls under the centrally-sponsored schemes  and those sponsored by the state government.
 “It shall be specifically mentioned as to how much amount under different heads is being paid to the women per month under these schemes,” the court said.
 The Court passed the directions in a case, Muhammad Amin Beigh v/s State and others. The District Magistrate Srinagar had slapped detention order under Public Safety Act (PSA) on Beigh for allegedly exploiting girls under the garb of providing them jobs. Beigh had challenged the order in the High Court.
 Senior Counsel Bashir Ahmad Bashir assisted the court as Amicus Curiae while Senior AAG Javid Kawoosa represented the government.

Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 4 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 5 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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