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Controversial Khadi appointments cancelled

Entire recruitment process was flawed, says probe committee

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jul 6: The Governor-led administration has cancelled the selection of candidates for 101 posts made in 2016 in Khadi and Village Industries Board (KVIB) during the PDP-BJP government after an inquiry report concluded that the recruitment was rife with flaws.
Principal Secretary Industries and Commerce Navin Choudhary, in a seven page order, has cancelled the appointments made in 2017 for the advertisement notification issued in August 2016.
“All the selections made in the KVIB pursuant to advertisement notice No. KVIB/01 of 2016 dated 08.10.2016 are quashed/ cancelled,” the order says.
“The KVIB will provide opportunity of being heard to all candidates appointed to different category of posts pursuant to the advertisement notice dated 08.10.2016 and fulfill all formalities required under law before cancelling the appointment of these candidates,” the order further reads.
The KVIB appointments in 2016 during PDP-BJP coalition raked up a controversy after a PDP leader’s son featured among the selected candidates for the post of Executive Officer.
The then KVIB Vice Chairman was PDP leader Peer Mansoor and its minister was then BJP legislator Chandra Prakash Ganga.
The inquiry committee, which was led by then Home Secretary R K Goel, report submitted to the Government said that extensive efforts have been made to ascertain all the facts relating to the entire recruitment process, which became a subject matter of high level inquiry.
“The committee is of the considered view that the entire process suffers from various deficiencies/ flaws as brought out in chapters-III, IV and V. the committee, therefore, recommends that the entire process be quashed and initiated de.novo, after following the due procedure.”
The committee after conducting detailed enquiry submitted its report to the government observing that an agenda item was placed before the Board of Directors on 03.10.2017 regarding criteria for selection against the posts advertised vide advertisement notice dated 08.10.2016.
It is not forthcoming from the records whether the decision of the Board of Directors meeting held on 03.10.2017 was suitably conveyed to the Controller examination for appropriate action.
There was very little notice period provided to the candidates particularly appearing in the interview for the post of Jr. Supervisor, Accounts Assistant/Jr. Auditor, Executive Officer, Assistant Executive Officer and Publicity Officer from Jammu Division.
The agenda regarding fixing of criteria for the 2016 selections placed before the Board of Directors on 03.10.2017 much after the conclusion of the written examination held in the month of August 2017 was only as to how the 10 marks earmarked for the experience can be awarded which should have been explained much earlier preferably in the advertisement notice itself.
The procedure as adopted/being followed by other recruiting agencies viz PSC and SSB where the candidates are shortlisted for interview in the ratio of 1:5 in case number of candidates is less that 10 and 1:3 in case the number exceeds 10 has not been followed in these selections.
Short period of time was provided to the candidates particularly to the Jammu Division candidates with the result low participation of the candidates was witnessed in the interview process.
Deviation has been made in the selection process while making selections ignoring the criteria given in the advertisement notice whereby 10 marks were earmarked for experience in the relevant field and 30 marks for viva voce.
The selection committee declared the results in a hurry in 14.02.2018 for 5 categories without waiting for conclusion of the interviews for the posts of Jr. Assistant/Record Keeper which were to conclude on 19th February 2018, making the selection process fishy/doubtful.
The selection criteria adopted in these selections was not recommended by any expert committee but was proposed by the Vice Chairman of the Board and approved by its Chairman (Minister I&C Deptt).
The criteria adopted in the selection process was not in accordance with the recommendations of the committee constituted in the year 2012 nor as per the criteria being adopted by other recruiting agencies.
The criteria of shortlisting for interview/viva voce in the ratio of 1:15 adopted in these selections on the basis of written examination was not recommended by the committees constituted in the year 2012. In fact the said committee had recommended shortlisting in the ratio of 1:15 as per the academic merit of the participating candidates.


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Kulbhushan Jadhav case: ICJ to deliver verdict today

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Jul 16: The International Court of Justice will deliver on Wednesday its verdict in a case relating to Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav, whose death sentence by a Pakistani military court based on an “extracted confession” has been questioned by India.

Jadhav, 49, a retired Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by the Pakistani military court on charges of “espionage and terrorism” after a closed trial in April 2017.

His sentencing evoked a sharp reaction in India. The ICJ, in a statement early this month, said a public sitting will take place at 3 pm (6.30 pm IST) on July 17 at the Peace Palace in The Hague, during which top judge Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read out the verdict.

 

Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Muhammad Faisal last week said his country cannot “prejudge” the decision of the ICJ in the Jadhav’s case. “We cannot prejudge the judgment,” he said. He, however, said that Pakistan has fully contested the case before the ICJ.

India moved the ICJ in May 8, 2017 for the “egregious violation” of the provisions of the Vienna Convention by Pakistan by repeatedly denying New Delhi consular access to Jadhav.

A 10-member bench of the ICJ, which was set up after World War II to resolve international disputes, on May 18, 2017 had restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.

A four-day public hearing in the high-profile case took place in February amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following one of the deadliest militant attacks in J&K by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed group that killed at least 40 CRPF soldiers on February 14. During the hearing in ICJ, both India and Pakistan submitted their detailed pleas and responses.

India based its case on two broad issues — breach of Vienna Convention on consular access and the process of resolution. Harish Salve, who was representing India in the case, questioned the functioning of Pakistan’s notorious military courts and urged the top UN court to annul Jadhav’s death sentence, which is based on an “extracted confession”. In his submission in the ICJ on the last day of the hearing, Pakistan’s counsel Khawar Qureshi said, “India’s claim for relief must be dismissed or declared inadmissible.”

Pakistan claims that its security forces arrested Jadhav from restive Balochistan province on March 3, 2016 after he reportedly entered from Iran. However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Navy.

Pakistan had rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav at the ICJ, claiming that New Delhi wants the access to get the information gathered by its “spy”. However, Pakistan facilitated a meeting of Jadhav with his mother and wife in Islamabad on December 25, 2017.

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Kashmiri Sikhs hope for Kartarpur-like corridor to PaK Gurdwaras

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Jul 16:  Voices are growing for LoC corridor to allow Kashmiri Sikhs to visit historic Gurudwaras in Pakistan Administered Kashmir (PaK) akin to Kartapur sahib.

All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC), an apex body of Kashmiri Sikhs, said there are several Gurudwaras in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur, which are held in high reverence by Sikhs across the globe.

“One such Gurudwara of Guru Hargobind Singh, the sixth Sikh Guru, is located in Naluchi in the neighborhood of Muzaffarabad,” said Jagmohan Singh Raina, Chairman APSCC.

 

Raina said the Gurudwara has remained closed for the last 70 years and was partly damaged in October 2005 earth quake.  “The Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara of Naluchi has been famous before partition when Sikhs in huge numbers from different parts of Kashmir used to go on a pilgrimage. Unfortunately, the Gurudwara has remained shut for the last 70 years and has now been converted into a police station,” he said.

Chairman APSCC said the Sikh community has asked Union Home Ministry to extend cross LoC Karvan-e-Aman bus up to Naluchi exclusively for the Sikh pilgrimage to the Gurudwara.

“We have written to MHA that people of different faiths live in Kashmir. A demand was made to allow Sikhs to go on a pilgrimage to PaK Gurudwaras,” Raina said.

The APSCC chairman said the Sikh body contacted Prime Minister of Muzaffarabad’s office in February and suggested 15 people who intend to undertake a pilgrimage to restore Gurudwara to its pristine glory.

“A journalist friend of mine helped us to take up the matter with the office of Prime Minister of Muzaffarabad. We later sent copies of 15 passports to Muzaffarabad PM’s office. We are following it up. We hope the pilgrimage will be allowed from Uri and Poonch side,” he said.

Ajit Singh Mastana who is one of 15 people who has enlisted for the pilgrimage, said sixth Guru of Sikhs, Guru Hargobind Singh had stayed in Naluchi after visiting Kashmir’s Uri area.

“Chatti Padshahi Gurudwaras are built at a place where our sixth Guru Hargobind Singh Ji rested during his visit to Kashmir. At present we have Chatti Padshahi Gurudwara in Srinagar, Baramulla and Uri in Kashmir,” he said.

 Mastana who heads Punjabi Sahitiya Sabha said many Sikhs families are yearning to go on a pilgrimage to the historic Gurudwaras in Pakistan Administered Kashmir.  “The yatra should be allowed on the pattern of Kartapur,” he said.

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JK has stronger case of non-application: Masoodi on NIA Bill

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jul 16: National Conference has opposed the NIA Amendment bill 2019 in the Parliament, saying the proposed amendment bill “infringes upon” the people’s right to liberty and life.

Participating in the debate Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi said the Parent Act of 2008 was not in tune with fundamental right of life and personal liberty.

“The amendment suffers from the same flaw.  The Article 21 while guaranteeing right to life and personal liberty provides that a person can be deprived of life and personal liberty in accordance with procedure established by law and such procedure must be just, fair and reasonable,” he said.

 

Masoodi added: “The three fundamental principles are to be taken care of at the stage of investigation, trial as also sentence and its mode of execution. In case of NIA Act wide and unbridled powers were given to the Central Government to constitute the special court as per its choice. The wide and unguided powers under NIA Act have prompted selective use of the Act and setting up of Special Courts as per choice and in an arbitrary manner. Resultantly, the Act leaves scope for violation of right of access to justice, an integral part of right to life and personal liberty.”

Kashmir, Masoodi said, is a ready example of such violation, where people who are prosecuted find it very difficult to get access to justice.

“There is no court and justice seekers from far flung areas are left without access to justice. While in case of other states NIA Act is said to trespass State list. In case of Jammu and Kashmir, there is no State list and all powers except those given by it to Centre belonged to State, there is a stronger case of non-application of NIA Act to State,” he said while participating in the debate.

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