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State govt. defies Presidential order

Winding up of seven State Commissions in J&K arbitrary, illegal: Harsh

Jammu, November 15 | Asserting that serious illegality had been committed by the State govt. in winding up seven state commissions functional in the state prior to October 31, 2019, Harsh Dev Singh Chairman-JKNPP & former Education Minister today said that J&K administration stood exposed for its hermeneutical imbecility and intellectual bankruptcy. He said that GAD’s order dated October 23, 2019, disbanding the seven state commissions was not only unlawful but violative of the order and clarifications issued by the President of India through Difficulties Removal Order.

Expressing dismay over the appallingly whimsical move of the State government in winding up the said seven statutory bodies, Harsh Dev observed that the said order had brazenly defied and circumvented provisions of J&K Reorganization Act and the appurtenant Removal of Difficulties order 2019. He was addressing a press conference in Jammu.

Elucidating his point, Harsh Dev Singh said that Removal of Difficulties order 2019 which was published by the GoI in Gazette extra-ordinary on October 30, 2019 had issued several clarifications for Removal of Difficulties in the implementation of the Reorganization Act which included a reference to the statutory bodies created and operational prior to the passing of the Reorganization Act. He revealed that clause (17) of the said order categorically stated that all such bodies which were functional before the appointed date i.e. 31st October 2019 shall continue to function till they were replaced by new bodies constituted under the new rules and all proceedings undertaken by them even after the appointed date shall be deemed to be valid and operative.

The relevant clause reads “Any authority constituted under any law in the existing State of Jammu and Kashmir immediately in force before the appointed day shall be deemed to have been constituted under the corresponding provisions of the Central laws applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and the Union Territory of Ladakh, until a new authority is constituted under the law applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir or the Union Territory of Ladakh, as the case may be, any proceedings initiated or action taken by such authority, shall for the purposes be deemed to be valid and operative.”

It was, however, amazing to note that the said authorities had been wound up vide a GAD order issued on October 23, 2019, without waiting for clarification issued by Union Ministry of Home Affairs through the gazette notification on October 30, 2019. He said that the State govt. had not only acted in haste but had taken a decision which ran counter to the directives and clarification issued by the GoI. He said that neither the existing State Commissions were replaced by new bodies and nor were they allowed to continue in terms of the order issued by the President of India and published in GoI Gazette. He said the erroneous and illegal order issued by the State govt. had not only exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of State administration but needed to be immediately reversed in consonance with the directives issued by President and published in the extra-ordinary Gazette of India by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Pointing towards the media reports indicating the govt’s decision of appointing chairpersons and members for five commissions including J&K Water Resource Regulatory Authority, J&K Vigilance Commission, J&K Ombudsman, J&K BOPEE and J&K Backward Class Commission Harsh Dev sought the restoration of status quo ante in respect of the seven other commissions which were wound up vide GAD order of October 23, 2019. There seven commissions include Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, State Human Rights Commission, State Information Commission, State Commission for protection of women and Child Rights, state Commission for persons with Disabilities, State Accountability Commission and State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

Describing the premature dissolution of the said state commissions by the govt. in J&K as a despotic act of arbitrariness, Harsh Dev Singh said that thousands of cases filed by litigants in the said commissions had been rendered infructuous despite years of proceedings having been held in respect thereof. He said that there were reports of several hundreds of such cases have become due for pronouncement of judgments which however faced abatement due to unlawful and unauthorized winding-up order of the said statutory bodies issued by the govt. on October 23, 2019.

Adv. Bansi Lal Sharma, Gagan Pratap Singh, Parshotam Parihar, S. Parmjeet Singh Marshall & Partap Singh Jamwal were also present in the press conference.

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