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Guv rule not about deciding Art 35-A: CS

Srinagar, Sep 25: Jammu and Kashmir government Tuesday said its stand on the legal challenge to Article 35-A of the constitution before the Supreme Court will remain consistent that an elected government should plead the case before the apex court.

“As far as Article 35-A is concerned, the Governor (Satya Pal Malik) has gone on record multiple times and he has clearly said that this is not an elected government and it would be right if an elected government within the state actually fights the case in the Supreme Court,” state chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam told reporters here.

 

Subrahmanyam said there was no link between the timing of holding panchayat elections in the state and deferment of hearing of the PIL challenging Article 35-A before the Supreme Court.

“There have been multiple postponement of the hearings of Article 35-A in the Supreme court before and after the panchayat elections were announced. It is just accidental that the case is listed in January and the panchayat elections are to be completed before that,” he said.

The chief secretary said the Governor’s administration is going to be consistent in its stand before the apex court that an elected state government should fight the case.

“The stand of the governor’s adminstration is going to be consistent in the Supreme Court that there are many serious complex issues which have to be discussed as far as Article 35-A is concerned and these should not be discussed when Governor’s rule is in place.

“These should be discussed when an elected government is in place, which will take a solid position in the Supreme Court. So, there is absolute clarity that Governor’s rule is not about deciding Article 35-A,” he said.

Asked when the assembly polls will be held in the state, the chief secretary said it was for authorities higher than him to decide.

“I am not competent to answer this question. It is for the authorities higher than me to decide,” he said adding that an assembly was in place in the state.

 

Resignation of SPOs ‘negligible’: Govt

Monitor News Bureau

Srinagar, Sep 25: The Jammu and Kashmir government Tuesday said the resignation of special police officers (SPOs), who have borne the brunt of militant attacks, was “negligible” and is restricted to certain areas of south Kashmir only.

State chief secretary B V R Subrahmanyam said all SPOs have been instructed about their personal safety while the government is in process of enhancing their honorarium.

“The problem of resignation of SPOs are restricted to certain areas. There is by and large no such problem in north and central Kashmir. It is concentrated in south Kashmir,” he told reporters here.

Subrahmanyam said there were 30,000 SPOs in the state and the number of SPOs “resigning is negligible”.

“We know that the honorarium of SPOs was enhanced from Rs 3,000 to Rs 6,000 per month some time ago. The honorarium will be hiked substantially, but I do not want to give out any figures as it will be decided by the The State Administrative Council (headed by the Governor),” he added.

The chief secretary said a decision in this regard will be taken in a few days.

Three policemen were abducted from their homes in south Kashmir’s Shopian district and shot dead on September 21.

Earlier reports suggested that the killings had triggered panic in the lower ranks of the police department with at least six policemen resigning.

The Home Ministry had said the reports have appeared in a section of media that some special police officers in Jammu and Kashmir have resigned, but the state police has confirmed that these reports are “untrue and motivated”.