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Govt constitutes committee for setting up Lokayukta

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 30: Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a five member high power committee for setting-up Lokayukta in the union territory. 

This followed recommendations made by the Law Commission to replace recently dissolved State Accountability Commission by Lokayukta.

Law Commission headed by Justice (retired) M K Hanjura had recommended setting up Lokayukta to deal with complaints related to corruption against public servants and functionaries.

 

On the orders of Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, a five member committee headed by Secretary Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has been framed to look into the applicability of Lokayukta Act in Jammu and Kashmir.

Director Anti-Corruption Bureau, Additional Secretary General Administration Department and two officers from Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs shall be its members. The committee has been asked to submit report by December 12.

An official of Law Department said committee has to examine recommendations of the Law Commission.

“The committee will give its report as to how Lokayukta can be set up in J&K,” he said.

Law Commission has suggested that Lokayukta shall consist of a chairperson, who is or has been a chief justice or judge of a high court and four members, of whom two shall be judicial members.

 “Lokayukta shall constitute an inquiry wing headed by the director of inquiry for the purpose of conducting inquiry into any offence alleged to have been committed by a public servant,” it has recommended.

Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013 says that “every State shall establish a body to be known as the Lokayukta, if not so established, constituted or appointed, by a law made by the State Legislature, to deal with complaints relating to corruption against public functionaries, within a period of one year from the date of commencement of this Act.”

Except Jammu and Kashmir, Lokayukta was implemented across the country in 2013. Instead, J&K had established SAC in 2003. The SAC had a mandate to investigate chief minister, cabinet ministers, legislators, and bureaucrats if there was a complaint of wrongdoing against them.


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Power should go into hands of people:LG Murmu

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Dec 9: Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu on Monday favoured the early assembly polls in the Union Territory and said the power should go into the hands of the people “as soon as possible”.

He was speaking to reporters after dedicating a 72-metre-long multi cell box type load class 70 bridge to the nation at Draj in Rajouri district.

Responding to a question of media persons about holding of assembly elections in the UT, Murmu said “This is what I am saying that the power should go into the hands of the people as soon as possible. This is what we are saying always.”

 

Asked further about the specific time frame when the pools will be held, he said “It has its own process.”

General Officer Commanding-in-chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps, Lt Gen Harsha Gupta were also present on the occasion.

The bridge, constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), spans over Draj nullah and connects the Draj area to Kotranka tehsil under Rajouri district.

Earlier, the Lieutenant governor praised the BRO for their dedication towards nation building through infrastructure development and war preparedness through construction of roads, bridges and tunnels.

Addressed the gathering of local residents, Army and General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF), Murmu said the Draj bridge is important for military as well as for socio-economic development of Rajouri district.

“This bridge will facilitate all weather and speedy movement of the Army troops as well as locals,” he said, and congratulated the BRO for the execution of work with professionalism which will strengthen the road network in the area.

The Lieutenant governor complimented the Army for their unwavering dedication to duty and high standard of professionalism.

He also appreciated the support extended by the local residents and the civil administration in overcoming various challenges faced by the BRO during the construction of the bridge.

Chief Engineer, Project Sampark, Brig Y K Ahuja said the upgradation of the existing causeway with the national highway specifications was essential as it is an important line of communication.

“Now the Draj Bridge will provide all weather movements without any restriction on plying of heavy traffic as it is designed for load class 70,” he said.

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Contentious Citizenship Bill passed in LS

Agencies

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New Delhi, Dec 9: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Monday cleared the first test in the Lok Sabha, with 293 members voting in favour of the bill’s introduction and 82 against it.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the contentious Bill in the Lok Sabha and said that it is not even 0.001 per cent against the minorities in the country.

“This Bill is not even 0.001 per cent against minorities in the country,” Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition.

 

“Why do we need this Bill today? After independence, if Congress had not done partition on the basis on religion, then, today we would have not needed this Bill. Congress did partition on the basis of religion,” Shah commented while taking potshots at the opposition party.

“If any Muslim from these three (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh) nations applies for citizenship according to our law, then we will consider it, but the person won’t get the benefit of this amendment as the person has not faced religious persecution,” he further said.

“Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains have been discriminated against. So this bill will give these persecuted people citizenship. Also, the allegation that this bill will take away the rights of Muslims is wrong,” Shah said.

OPPOSITION PROTESTS OVER RELIGIOUS DIVIDE

As Amit Shah introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha, the House erupted in protests with AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi comparing the Home Minister to Hitler and being reprimanded by Speaker Om Birla.

Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury slammed the Bill and said, “It nothing but a targeted legislation over minority people of our country”, to which Amit Shah hit back and said, “This Bill is not even .001% against minorities in the country”.

Asaduddin Owaisi in Lok Sabha: I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law & save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion. #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019

Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy said, “This bill is divisive and unconstitutional, it violates Article 14 of the Constitution. This law is against everything our founding fathers including Dr Ambedkar envisioned.”

Owaisi took the criticism to another level and said, “I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law and save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion.”

To this the Speaker warned Owaisi and said the comment will be expunged the House records.

WHAT IS THE CITIZENSHIP BILL

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to change the six-decade-old Citizenship Act and grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan facing religious persecution in these neighbouring countries.

Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but be given Indian citizenship, according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019.

“In Citizenship Act, in Section 2 in sub-section (i), in clause (b) the following proviso shall be inserted namely:- “provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and who has been exempted by the central government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act,” the Bill said.

Such refugees will be given Indian citizenship after they have resided in India for five years (six years in CAB 2016), instead of 11 years earlier, it said.

The Bill also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found illegal migrants. (AGENCIES)

Bill not even .001 % against minorities: Shah

New Delhi, Dec 9: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha and said that it is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country.

“This Bill is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country,” Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.

It is important to note that the Bill was passed by the Lower House of the Parliament earlier this year but lapsed with the term of the previous Lok Sabha during the first term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in the Centre. (Agencies)

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Govt to cover all students under scholarship schemes

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Dec 9: The Government Monday announced to cover all the students under various Scholarship Schemes, besides providing financial assistance to the physically challenged and persons above age of 70 years in the Union Territory.

It was revealed during a review meeting of field functionaries of Social Welfare Department chaired by Director General Social Welfare, Kashmir, Rukhsana Gani here at Markazi Falah-i-Itfaal, here today.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Director Social Welfare, Kashmir, Zeenat Aara, Assistant Director Administration, Dr Syed Farhana Asgar, Assistant Director Schemes, Najeeb Lateef, District Social Welfare Officer, Srinagar Muhammad Ashraf Akhoon besides Tehsil Social Welfare officers of Kashmir Division.

 

Highlighting the role of the Department, the Director General asked the officers to ensure that all the deserving people get benefit of these schemes.

The field functionaries were informed about the new guidelines for enrolment of beneficiaries under different schemes during the meeting.

The meeting was informed that 65000 new beneficiaries under Integrated Social Security Scheme (ISSS) and NSAP (National Social Assistance Programme) have been sanctioned by the Centre. The meeting was further informed that 10775 beneficiaries in Srinagar, 2912 in Ganderbal, 7196 in Budgam, 8269 in Anantnag, 5291 in Pulwama, 4147 Kulgam, 767 in Shopian, 8249 in Baramulla, 9204 in Kupwara and 8190 in Bandipora would be covered under ISSS and NSAF schemes.

The meeting also decided to extend the last date for filling National Scholarship Scheme forms by Dec 31, 2019.

The Director General said that the date was extended to cover more deserving students. She also said that Internet Kiosks established at Deputy Commissioner Offices and Tourist Reception Center will facilitate the students in applying for scholarships.

She also said there is a need for generating greater awareness among the masses about these schemes so that the benefits reach to the targeted sections of the society.

Later, the DG along with other officers visited Markazi Falah-i-Itfaal to take on-spot appraisal of facilities being provided to the children.

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