BY: IRFAN QURAISHI
The sacking of sixty three (63) civil servants by the Jammu and Kashmir Government as part of its efforts “to remove deadwood” from the administration is an appreciated move to heal the messy state of affairs. But it is being observed that the tainted politicians too need some denting.
If i am not wrong as per the self declaration in the affidavit submitted by these politicians during 2014 elections forty nine (49) politicians in Jammu and Kashmir have criminal cases among them thirty three (33) have serious criminal cases. The politicians facing criminal cases are from different political parties, even from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Bhartiya Janta Pary (BJP). In the self declaration affidavit it is found that there are cases applicable under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) where charges were framed and cases where cognizance were taken, but there are no cases of conviction.
The list of 49 politicians with criminal cases includes 5 from JKPDP, 4 from BJP, 5 from JKNC and 9 from INC, in which Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari of Peoples Democratic party (JKPDP) top the list with seven (7) cases against him, however cognizance taken, followed by Ajaz Ahmad Sofi of IND with 4 criminal cases, Yash Pal of JKNPP and Tariq Ahmad Ahanger of IND threea (3) each.
The menace of corruption can’t be curbed just with the sacking of few civil servants; the big fishes in the messy system are to be encircled to infuse accountability and transparency in governance. The policy makers with criminal records never suit to the claims of good governance. The assessment of the performance of an officer/official that too as a permanent feature in administration is good, but there is need to deal with the same zeal when it is to ensure transparency at political levels.
The front line leader in Mufti’s government, Syed Mohammad Altaf Bukhari’s criminal case details reveal that he faces cases under section 276 read with section 277 of Income tax act, however cognizance taken. Asiea of JKPDP faces cases under section 353, 427, 506 of IPC for Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty, Mischief causing damage to the amount, however cognizance taken. Mohammad Yousuf Bhat of JKPDP faces cases under section 120B, 167, 193, 194, 195A for false evidence, Giving or fabricating false evidence with intent to procure conviction of capital offence, threatening any person to give false information, Punishment of criminal conspiracy, Public servant farming an incorrect document with intent to cause injury. Sofi Yousuf of BJP faces cases under section 353, 336, 427, however charges framed.
Leader is one who makes you what you want to be, but are our leaders what they ought to be? The self declared details of crimes of above politicians are just a tip of the ice-berg. There is need of a curtain raiser to deal with the big guns of this game of power. The Mufti government needs to have guts to introduce a performance review feature of its ministers and MLA’s to set an example of sincere governance.
The sacking of few civil servants is mare an eye wash, what about the Roshni Scam where state land was sold for peanuts. The Act has turned out to be a goldmine for the politicians, retired Judges, bureaucrats (both serving and retired) and doctors since they have paid peanuts while acquiring huge chunks of land and other properties located in the Srinagar city. The scheme gave benefits to the influential lot, but previous regime failed to generate much from this scheme while influential people got prime properties for peanuts. Will Mufti Givernment unveil the mythe of multi corore Jammu Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) scam? Does Mufti government have guts to take people behind the scam to the task to set an example of what they claim transparent governance.