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Wanted in Guv Rule: SAC rebirth, sincere action against corrupt netas
6/23/2018 11:21:33 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, June 23: A million dollar question asked by many people in J&K is this: Will Governor NN Vohra resurrect the dead State Accountability Commission (SAC) and take action against the corrupt politicians.
The SAC has been rendered a toothless tiger, and for years the commission hasn't been accorded enough powers to rein in corrupt politicians who have made fortune out of the peoples' hard earned money.
The SAC was constituted under Jammu and Kashmir Accountability Commission Act, 2002, to inquire into the grievances and allegations against public functionaries and for matters connected therewith. Section 3 of the Act provides that the Accountability Commission shall consist of:- (a) a Chairperson who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of any High Court]; and (b) such other Members, if any, as may be prescribed In terms of Rule 4 framed under section 30 of the J&K Accountability Commission Act.
However, the non- serious approach of the successive regimes in the state have left this vital anti-graft body toothless, with limited powers that it could not even issue a summon against whom it receives complaints of graft.
As per reports coming to fore, not even a single action has so far been taken by the JKSAC since 2012, revealing how useless this body has been rendered by the helmsmen.
On the other hand, more than Rs 6 crore and 30 lakh has been spent on SAC during the past five years. During 2010-11, more than Rs 85 lakh were spent on the anti-graft body by the state; Rs 1 crore and 73 lakhs in 2011-12; more than Rs 2 crore in 2012-13.
Interestingly, Governor NN Vohra had announced in 2011 to strengthen the SAC, but the state government remained unmoved even over appointing the second member. SAC could not take suo-moto cognizance of any issue due to failure of the government to empower it.
The High Court had held that the anti- corruption watchdog cannot exercise suo- moto powers in absence of inherent powers.
As the present government continues to beat the trumpet of ensuring a transparent mechanism in the overall functioning of the state, it has done little to equip the already neglected SAC. So far, there has been no measure taken to accord a prosecuting agency along with the investigative wing to this anti-graft body. Its recently appointed chairperson has also threatened to leave if government continues to remain inactive over the measures that are needed to be taken on war footing basis.
Sources within the government reveal that scores of amendments made by successive regimes in the SAC Act resulted in exclusion of the public administration from the jurisdiction of SAC.
The Act that was ought to put bigwigs under the scrutiny has been undermined by the government. Its jurisdiction has been taken away by excluding public servants, government companies, public sector undertakings and universities which in public perception are cases of suspected corruption. Now its jurisdiction has been limited to political class only against whom there are no complaints being received at all.
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