Introduction to Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A University Law Professor Ponders on the Curse Afflicting J&K

Corruption in public offices

By S. M. Afzal Qadri

(Prof. Qadri, 60, was born in Srinagar and had his early education at Islamia School and National High School in Srinagar. He graduated from S.P. College, Srinagar, and completed his L.L.B. and L.L.M. from the Aligarh Muslim University. He subsequently returned to Srinagar and practised law before joining the Law Department of the University of Kashmir in 1976. After obtaining Ph.D. he was promoted as professor and is presently a member of the University staff. He enjoys writing on topical subjects like human rights, police attrocities, criminology and other social issues.)


Corruption is a curse in a society and in India it has taken such a magnitude that it is beyond our control to stop it. Right from the Bofors up to the kick backs which politicians receive from time to time one can say that Indian society cannot live without one or the other form of corruption. It is said that law makers are the guardians of law but when the lawmakers who are supposed to control and legislate on prevention of corruption ask for money for asking questions in the parliament how do we expect that corruption will be stopped in the society. The worst type the corruption is the political corruption in the society. Newspapers and other reports from various agencies are witness to this fact. Right from getting a ration card up to the appointment in any office the work can not be done unless we grease the palm of a person who is in power.

The state of J&K has a distinction to be one of the most corrupt states in the country. During the last 20 years of turmoil it has reached its heights now and not a single day goes when there is one or the other scandal of corruption involving higher ups in the government.

The previous coalition government established a State Accountability Commission with pomp and show and its first chairman took the job seriously without understanding that it's just an eyewash and poor man died on a very bad note.

The commission wanted to enquire into the misdeeds and corrupt practices of a particular department but the "corrupt lobby" in the state administration is so strong that the chairman was left with no alternative but to resign from the position in an unceremonious manner. From that time this commission is without permanent chairman and not a single recommendation of this commission was implemented by the state. The main object of this commission was to provide just and responsive and clean administration where people will be given fair chance to ask the state to enquire into allegations and grievances against public men which include even the ministers and members of the legislature. Beside the law exists both in ordinary law and special laws to control the corruption in public offices. The relevant provisions of the Ranbir Penal Code and J&K Prevention of Corruption Act lay down the rules to control and prevent corruption in the society.

State Vigilance Organization is there to detect and prosecute the offenders and bring them to book .But unfortunately, they could lay down their hands on small offenders and no influential person is prosecuted. In one or two instances they were able to lay hands on people of influence, but these offenders taking the advantage of lacunae in law saw to it that they are acquitted.

Statistics reveal that in J&K during the year 2006, 84 cases were registered for violation of various sections of anti-corruption law and there were 151 pending cases from last year. Out of total 235 cases only 99 cases were charge sheeted. In year 2005 in 184 cases final report was submitted. Out of these cases only 7 persons were convicted, and 35 acquitted .The percentage of the persons convicted in the year 2005 is 16.7%.This is the situation with regards to those persons who are arrested by the investigating agencies for the offence of corruption.

The recent revelation of an MLA and subsequent resignation of a minister on charges of corruption is an eye opener for all of us. If a MLA is asked to pay the bribe what will be the fate of an ordinary citizen. Does the Chief Minister have the right to say that he has come to eradicate corruption in the State? Can he claim that he is interested to give a corruption free government to people living in this State which is facing number of problems? When he cannot stop corruption amongst his ministerial colleagues can he ask a petty peon to be honest? Can he plead that he wants to give clean administration to the people of J&K? These are the questions which need to be answered and State will have to satisfy the people on this issue.

The State Accountability Commission has a role to play in cases where allegations are leveled at a higher level against a minister. Why should not they take a suo moto cognizance of the case and investigate it. It is a litmus test to prove that Commission is really performing its duty. Corruption in this society will not end by only enforcing laws. Those who indulge in corrupt practices know how to defeat the law. Therefore there is also a need to start a social campaign against the corrupt persons in the society. We should ridicule those who are corrupt and we must stop paying kick back for enforcing legal rights and should discourage it at all levels.

The courts will have to be tougher with regard to corruption cases and even the law should be amended where prosecution story should be taken as correct and burden of proving innocence should be shifted to defence. If we all will not get together to eradicate corruption this State will be doomed and nobody can stop it.

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