Panel intact, say legal experts

‘Just Members Need To Be Replaced’

Greater Kashmir
Publish Date: Oct 11 2012 12:00PM

Srinagar, Nov 9: While the Minister for PHE and Flood Control Taj Mohi-ud-Din reiterated his demand of quashing “illegal” House Committee probing forest land grab charges against him, legal experts Friday said the resignation of two National Conference legislators from the probe panel won’t impact its legal validity but the members need to be replaced.
“The committee is intact due to presence of majority of members. Three members are still there and only two have resigned,” said a legal expert. Pertinently, the House Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Peoples Democratic Party legislator Murtaza Khan. Bashir Ahmed Magray of Congress, Syed Rafiq Shah of Panthers Party and NC legislators Khalid Najib Suharwardy and Bashir Ahmed Magray were appointed its members. Both the NC legislators resigned on Friday reportedly due to coalition compulsions. The lone Congress member Bashir Ahmad Magray is unlikely to resign, according to sources.
According to the experts, Chairman of the Council has to take a final call on the matter of replacements, being the custodian of the House. “The authority of inducting two new members lies with him,” they added.
Meanwhile, Taj said that the chairman of the Council derives power from the House and has to quash the Committee. “He gets power from the House and has to act as per the will of the House,” he said, adding that constitution of the panel against him was “illegal and unconstitutional.”
“The Upper House cannot inquire against the member of the Lower House and ordering inquiry against me by the LC chairman is first of its kind in the parliamentary history of the country,” he said.
“There is no such precedence,” he added.
Leader of the Upper House, R S Chib refused to comment on the matter. “What I had  to say I have written it in the letter,” he said.