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news details
Govt set to resurrect, give teeth to SAC
Politicians to get sleepless nights
6/26/2019 12:18:13 AM
Early Times Report
Jammu, June 25: After giving enough teeth to the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) to crack whip against the corrupt practices in Jammu and Kashmir, the government is all set to resurrect the State Accountability Commission which was left in ruins by the state's popular governments.
As per the reports coming to fore, the government in a bid to leave the corrupt in crises, is giving inherent powers to this anti- corruption watchdog to exercise suo- moto powers. Though such a measure, SAC will have enough powers to issue summon against any political leader who has been part of the state government in the past and against whom compliant of corruption has been lodged.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the state accountability commission 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 of Jammu and Kashmir left this vital anti- graft body toothless with limited powers that it could not even issue a summon against those against whom it receives the allegations of the graft related cases.
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. 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.
There weer scores of amendments made by successive regimes in the SAC Act that 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.
Now, if the governor administration gives SAC jurisdiction to summon public servants for the alleged cases of corruption, the situation in the state could turn upside down and will left the earth shrinking for the officials involved in gross misuse of their official positions.
What remains to be seen is whether the government will take such a revolutionary measure without delay or this much needed action will become victim of Bureaucratic Ifs and Buts.
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