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SAC, SVC ask for sufficient staff-for what?
12/11/2013 11:14:23 PM
Bashir Assad
JAMMU, Dec 11: The functioning of the State Accountability Commission (SAC) and the State Vigilance Commission (SVC)-two most powerful autonomous corruption watchdogs of the state- have become ineffective on ground given their limited powers and also because of the fact that, the Government functionaries lost no time to get the matters against them stayed in J&K High Court. The J&K High Court has stayed as many as 200 corruption related matters in favour of officials and politicians and these orders have been holding for three to six years. However, both the organizations are quick and prompt in asking the Government to provide more and more staff to them though the twin organizations have much less work to do.
According to the sources in Law department, the State Accountability Commission and the State Vigilance Commission have put proposals before the Government for providing them more staff which is being examined by the Law Department.
According to the sources, the State Vigilance Commission constituted by virtue of J&K State Vigilance Commission Act 2010 has placed a proposal before the Government asking it to provide around 82 officials of various categories for efficient functioning of the organization. Similarly, the SAC has also placed a proposal before the Government for providing more staff to it.
According to sources, both the organizations have so far proved ineffective because of many inherent lacunas but asking for more staff is no solution to them.
22 officials of the State Government stand deputed to the SAC but it has only three cases to probe into and proceedings of two cases among the three has been stayed by the High Court.
As for the SVC is concerned, it has placed a proposal for 82 officials, sources said.
Sources said it was actually in the backdrop of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking sanction in corruption cases that the High Court issued notice to the J&K Government last month in an application seeking adequate staff, infrastructure for J&K State Accountability Commission, J&K State Vigilance Commission and J&K State Information Commission.
While issuing notice, the Division Bench of J&K High Court directed State to file objections to the said application before December 10, 2013.
It is being alleged that the State Government has miserably failed to provide the staff to the Accountability Commission thereby stalling the disposal of the complaints promptly. Non-functioning of the SVC is also being attributed to the non-availability of staff. However, the fact remains that both the organizations have been rendered toothless for the reason that SAC has no more powers to take suo moto notice of corruption charges on one hand and on the other hand its proceedings are being got stayed by the accused. Several politicians (including some sitting Ministers) and many bureaucrats who are facing corruption charges have got the proceedings of SAC against them stayed from the High Court.
Similarly the SVC too is non-functional because of the lacunas in the act by virtue of which the commission was created.
In a comparison between the J&K SVC Act 2011 and the Central Vigilance Commission Act of 2003, the SVC Act 2011 selection committee merely prepares a panel of three names for the posts of State Chief Vigilance Commissioner (SCVC) and two Vigilance Commissioners and the Cabinet makes the final appointment.
In case of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), the appointments are made by the President under his or her order and the removal is also possible under his or her order only.
But in case of J&K SVC, the Commissioners can be removed by the Government. The power to remove the members of the SVC should lie solely with the Governor as is the case with the CVC Act wherein President is empowered to do the job.
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