Without an office, Women and Child Rights Commission functions under a chinar

This government organ meant for protection of women and children has no office and is forced to function from under a Chinar tree in the lawns of the Old Assembly Complex here.

The office space for employees of the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights, previously known as Women’s Commission, has been handed over to the newly constituted State Law Commission.

But the SCPWCR was not allotted an alternate space after being asked to vacate it for the SLC.

Secretary of the rights body said, “As of now we haven’t been provided with an accommodation. Our files and other stuff is there in the office, but the office doesn’t belong to us now. We are sitting under the Chinar from past couple of days.”

“We have written to Principal Secretary and he said we will be provided an office.”

The employees of the Commission are obviously feeling aggrieved.

“Like every year after the Darbar gets shifted to Srinagar, we came to office, but to our surprise we found that our office has been taken over by the Law Commission. We don’t have an issue with that, but we should also be provided with an accommodation. Sitting in lawns doesn’t look appropriate,” said an employee of SCPWCR.

In June last year, after J&K came under Governor’s rule, chairperson of the State Women’s Commission resigned, as per the convention and since then the commission has been headless.

Earlier the commission was without a head for seven years, until 2010.  

In March this year, the government amended the State Commission for Women Act, 1999, and enacted the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights Act, 2018.

The new law broadened the ambit and scope of the activities of the Commission.

As per the amended act, “The Commission has the power to investigate, examine and review all matters relating to the safeguard provided for women and children rights under the constitution and any laws for the time being in force for their protection and recommend measures for their effective implementation.”

The commission has been provided with the powers of a civil court and is required to submit an annual report to the state government as well as special report when an issue needs immediate attention