(Mr. Daya Sagar, 65+, was born in Udampur. He completed his schooling from SRML Higher secondary School in Jammu. He completed his post graduate degree in engineering (M. Tech.) in 1971. After a short stint in Larsen & Toubro, he joined public sector from which he retired after 30 years of service in 2003. He has held numerous consulting assignments. Mr. Sagar is a social activist and founder member of the Jammu Opinion Forum, the Vichar Kranti Manch International Jammu, and J&K Samaj Kalyan Kendra, an organization primarily dedicated to the welfare of physically handicapped members of the society. He is also an advisor to the International Human Rights Protection Council Jammu, and the Jammu Gamin Vikas Sanstha, working for the welfare of the rural people, mother & child health, and education. Mr. Sagar is a free lance scribe since 1988 and writes on various social, human rights and national issues in various news outlets in the State. His family has been politically associated with the J&K National Conference.)
J&K's Toothless Commissions
Earlier J&K State Accountability Commission was in news for being headless and without adequate teeth to get the corrupt government servants and public men punished. Now it is the J&K Sate Information Commission in news for being without any Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners. The J&K RTI Act and the appointment of Chief Information Commissioner has recently hit the news line more prominently. In India the Commissions and Committees are seen more as the rehabilitation centers for retired senior bureaucrats / public men/ others of the class. It is less for the purpose and more to benefit some personally. Some names of retiring and retired Government officers did appear in the media as prospective candidates for securing the positions of Information Commissioners. A likely date for the meeting of the selection committee was also mentioned . But the point that I want to make here is that it was not appear to some a mere coincidence that a news item about the selection of a Chief Information Commissioner appeared at a time a very senior bureaucrat of J&K was to superannuate a couple of weeks thereafter. Otherwise RTI Commission was headless since long. People need to take notice of this. Such coincidences do some times send otherwise signals to common man even if there may lie no unfair intention.
The incomplete infrastructure of the JK Information Commission established under the RTI Act has consumed nearly a crore of rupees ( formally constituted in October 2009) without doing any good to the people. JK State Accountability Commission has been the other totally non delivering institution for 3 years now. These institutions have not been provided the Heads and the “teeth”. Where should any one file a complaint against the non performance of those who had to provide the “ Heads” to these institutions ?. It was most agonizing that recently it was reported that a very senior retiring IAS officer has been booked for alleged corruption on the money kept for the school mats for the “dust laden class rooms” of the students in government schools. It is not out of place to mention here that the said officer had been got promoted to senior positions even when the case had already been detected during the days of his active service.
Earlier the offences of corruption and bribery against Government Employees were dealt under the provisions of Ranbir Penal Code ( of 1932 A.D) and were investigated by Local police upto the year 1949 A.D. A separate Anti Corruption Wing was formed in 1949 under the State Crime Branch under J&K Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 Bikrami (1949 AD). And it was in 1962 that a separate body by the name “Anti-Corruption Organization” was created. With the menace of corruption going unchecked “State Vigilance Organisation” was created with the incorporation of ‘Prevention of Corruption Laws (amendment) Act, 1983 A.D. “State Vigilance Organization”, J&K Public Men and Public Servants Declaration of Assets and Other Provisions Act, 1983 A.D was enacted and MLAs and Ministers were also brought under the purview of Corruption Laws and filing of Annual Property Returns was made mandatory for all public servants and public men. But Corruption on the public resources has further grown, had it not been so, the need for replacing J&K Vigilance Organisation with J&K State Vigilance Commission would not have been felt. So far there have been no signs of fulfilled commitments of war against the corrupt.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission had sent recommendations for severest action against some political bosses / government officers /( even for termination of services / forfeiture of retirement pension under Rule 30 of the J&K Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules 1956. ) as back as 2007. But no immediate action , worth appreciation ,was taken by the Gulam Nabi Government . Some of the accused obtained some orders from the J&K HC in reference to the recommendations of SAC. But no follow up worth appreciation was taken to get the notices from the J&K HC attended to on priority basis even by Omar Government. The orders of SAC involved some officers who had allegedly looted even the common middle class subjects of J&K in association with the managements of co operative housing societies. And above all this the State Accountability Commission is headless since April/May 2008. Believe it ,the J&K SAC Act provides for completion of enquiries / recommendation with in six months and now it is nearly three two years since there is no chairman in SAC . The complainants are just incurring expenditure of time and money by paying visits. Omar Government too has been no different than Azad government in this regard. Even if the politicians may not be fearing the SAC, may be there is no favourite subject who could be favoured by appointment in SAC.
Time has come when the social groups must rise at their own level to prove their strength to the politicians. Otherwise the Commissions and Committees would remain more as the rehabilitation centers for the favourites of those in power seat without delivering any common good.