*Ex-IPS officers among 12 recommended by Admn Secys
JAMMU, Mar 30: Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission (SVC) has become completely defunct with the lone serving Vigilance Commissioner demitting office tomorrow. However, the Government is in no hurry to make new appointments although 12 names including those of former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have been recommended to the General Administration Department by various Administrative Secretaries.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission was created vide SRO-59 dated February 15, 2011 issued by the General Administration Department in exercise of the powers conferred under Sub-Section-1 of Section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011, which received the assent of the Governor N N Vohra on January 19, 2011.
Vide SRO-48 and SRO-49 dated February 11, 2013, Governor N N Vohra appointed Kuldeep Khoda, former Director General of Police J&K and R K Jerath, former IAS officer as first ever Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioner respectively. Gous-ul-Nisa Jeelani, former Principal District and Sessions Judge, was appointed as second Vigilance Commissioner vide SRO-353 dated August 1, 2013.
Kuldeep Khoda and R K Jerath had completed their terms on February 21, 2017 while as the second Vigilance Commissioner Gous-ul-Nisa Jeelani is demitting office tomorrow on completion of her term. With this, the Vigilance Commission, which was constituted to inquire or cause inquiries to be conducted into offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 2006 by the public servants has become completely defunct.
“However, the PDP-BJP Coalition Government is in no hurry to infuse new lease of life in this Commission by appointing new Chief Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners”, top official sources told EXCELSIOR while disclosing that the Commission will remain completely defunct for next few months.
They informed that it would be only after opening of Darbar at summer capital of the State that the Government will vigorously initiate the process for filling up of vacant posts of Chief Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners. “At present there is no instruction to the General Administration Department to process the file for placement before the Chief Minister”, sources added.
This is notwithstanding the fact that a total of 12 names including those of some former Indian Police Service (IPS) officers have been recommended by the Administrative Secretaries of certain departments to the General Administration Department in compliance to the instructions issued on February 17, 2017 by the Commissioner/ Secretary to Government GAD Khurshid Ahmad.
“A senior IAS officer, who is going to attain superannuation within next few months, is trying hard to get appointed as Chief Vigilance Commissioner and he has also received positive indications from certain quarters in the corridors of power”, sources informed, adding “in the Civil Secretariat the general opinion is that appointment of new CVC is being delayed only to adjust this particular IAS officer”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Section 3(3) of the J&K State Vigilance Commission (Amendment) Act, 2011 provides that the Chief Vigilance Commissioner and Vigilance Commissioners shall be appointed from amongst the persons who have been or are in All India Service or in any Civil Service of the State or in a civil post under the State having knowledge and experience in the matters relating to vigilance, law, finance, policy making and administration including police administration.
The appointment of new Chief Vigilance Commissioner and two Vigilance Commissioners is being delayed despite the fact that defunct Commission will have adverse impact on vigilance administration in the State.
Rule 31 of J&K State Vigilance Commission Rules, 2013 lays down that on conclusion of enquiries by the Chief Vigilance Officers, Departmental Vigilance Officers and District Vigilance Officers in respect of complaints referred to them by the Commission or the enquiries undertaken suo-moto, they shall report directly to the Commission and shall seek instructions in respect of vigilance administration from the Commission.
Moreover, the State Vigilance Commission is empowered to exercise superintendence over the functioning of SVO in so far as it relates to the investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.