Defending the Corrupt!
IS NEW DELHI PATRONIZING CORRUPT POLITICIANS IN J&K ?
CORRUPOLITICS BY DR RAJA MUZAFFAR BHAT
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If we go through the various annual reports from 2005 till date published by Berlin based Transparency International, an NGO working for corruption related issues in various countries, it has continuously kept Jammu & Kashmir state in the list of most corrupt states in India and in addition to this J&K and Bihar have been declared as the most corruption ridden states in India.
J&K state has the credit of having most strong anti corruption laws in India but one fails to understand why J&K state stills continuous to be a corruption ridden state? J&K State enacted J&K State Accountability Commission Act 2002 soon after the PDP and Congress formed a coalition Government under the leadership of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Not only the Ministers, MLAs , MLCs even the Chief Minister of J&K is accountable and answerable before the State Accountability Commission (SAC) which has been created under the provisions of JK State Accountability Commission Act 2002. I don’t feel any hesitation in calling State Accountability Commission the “Lok Pal” of J&K state.
Anna Hazare and his team have been fighting for the same type of institution wherein Prime Minister of India can be accountable and answerable to such a commission but we are lucky enough to have such an institution in J&K in the shape of SAC. We have State Vigilance Organization (SVO) in our state which looks after corruption related issues pertaining to Government officers . Few years back State Vigilance Commission Act has also been enacted by the State Legislature and now we will have State Vigilance Commission in J&K (SVC) on the pattern on Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). This Commission will take care of corruption charges against bureaucrats. There is a State Information Commission (SIC) constituted under J&K Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI Act) and very recently our Chief Minister ensured enactment of J&K Public Services Guarantee Act 2011 (PSGA).
In spite of having all such institutions and legislations which can reduce corruption and bring in transparency in our public authorities why J&K State is still reeling under corruption and misgovernance ? How many corrupt politicians, Ministers , top bureaucrats, MLA’s have been given punishment by the State Accountability Commission or State Vigilance Organization? The State Accountability Commission only functioned for a few years when Justice R P Sethi was its Chairperson but after his death this Commission was orphaned and for many years it remained in a state of suspended animation and defunct. Now the Government has appointed a new Chairperson and a Member for this Commission but it is more than four months since SAC became functional but till date we haven’t heard that any pending case has been taken up by this commission.
There are two cabinet Ministers in the present Government who are facing graft charges and cases have been registered against them in the State Accountability Commission many years back when they used to be Ministers in the previous Government (PDP Congress coalition) but both these former Ministers have been accommodated in the present Government with Cabinet berth. These Ministers obtained stay order against SAC from the J&K High Court that time but till date our State Government has not taken any steps to get these stay orders vacated .
This clearly shows that Government is not at all serious to ensure corruption free J&K.The matter of concern is that the Congress High Command in New Delhi too did not bother to take disciplinary action against these Ministers who in fact belong to Congress party. When Congress High Command could ask Maharashtra’s former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan to resign aftermath of Adarsh Land Scam row, when Suresh Kalmadi could be sent to jail or Shashi Tharoor former MoS External Affairs was forced to resign on charges of corruption why didn’t Sonia Gandhi or her core Congress team take similar action against their Ministers in J&K ?Same is the case with State Vigilance Organization.
A case of Jute Mat scam was registered more than 9 years back by SVO and the main accused in the case was the then Principal Secretary Education and other officials . Vigilance registered cases against the officials belonging to J&K but in case of that IAS Principal Secretary the sanction for prosecution was not given by Department of Personnel and Trainings (DoPT) Govt of India and it was only after the retirement of that officer that a case was registered against him. What does this indicate?
One of the accused Ministers having corruption cases pending in State Accountability Commission has serious charges of helping his son pass Matriculation exam in “Munna Bhai” style way back in 2009 but the Congress high command is still mum; why ? All the national channels, news papers have exposed this whole drama and Minister Perzada Syed was forced to resign but simply bypassing the state Chief Minister Mr Syed tendered his resignation before Ms Sonia Gandi and now the Minister has publically said that his resignation hasn’t been accepted ? What kind of drama is going on. The Minister has no regard and respect for CM’s chair .
All this clearly indicates that when it comes to J&K New Delhi especially Congress adopts a different policy of tackling the situation. The New Delhi based leadership feels that they have few people in J&K who till date have kept Kashmir united with India and if some disciplinary action is taken against these people who will take care of their interests in Jammu & Kashmir ? So let them do whatever that want to do. In this whole dirty game and drama a common man of this state gets sandwiched. He feels dejected. He feels all the doors of justice are closed for him. But I think we must not lose hope, we should fight and expose these corrupt elements and I am sure a day will come when these people will be taken to task.