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KVIB Appointment Probe:Two deadlines missed, enquiry team seeks another

By Mudassir Kuloo

Srinagar, May 31: After missing two deadlines, the probe committee has sought an extension of time for completing the enquiry into the selections made by the JK’s Khadi Village and Industries Board (KVIB) on various posts.
On February 25, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had ordered a high-level enquiry into the procedural inadequacies in the selection process of the KVIB. However, formal orders were issued on March 28.
She had ordered the probe following severe criticism over the appointment of her own nephew Aroot Madni (37), son of ruling PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni, as an executive officer in the board.
The enquiry is being carried by the three-member panel headed by R K Goyal, Principal Secretary Home Department. Its members include Dr Pawal Kotwal, Principal Secretary Government Health and Medical Education Department and Farooq Ahmad Shah, Secretary School Education Department.
However, the committee has missed two deadlines so far and has sought for extension of time period for submitting the report.
The committee was given a month’s time to submit a report within a month.
Following which the government extended a month time period for completion of the enquiry that ended on May 27.
An official of the General Administration Department said that the committee was yet to submit the report. “It may be given a further extension for completion of the probe,” the official said.
Pawan Kotwal, a member of the committee confirmed: “We have applied for an extension of time into submitting the report. Goyal Sahab can give you further details.”
However, Goyal said that he was busy in a meeting.
The KVIB had issued an advertisement against vacancies on October 8, 2016. Shortlisted candidates took a written test in August 2017, and interviews for the position began in the last week of January.
The selection process was conducted by a private recruitment agency instead of the J&K Service Selection and Recruitment Board (JKSRB). The Chief Minister’s nephew declined to accept the employment offer from the board following the controversy generated by his appointment.
Opposition National Conference had launched a scathing attack on the PDP over alleged nepotism and malpractice in the selection of candidates. “The KVIB list is full of appointments made on the basis of relations and affiliations to the CM’s family and party. Withdrawal of application by Sartaj Madnis son does not end the case but indicates he would not have been able to stand the scrutiny of a probe,” the party had said.
The PDP has termed the selection as fair, and Sartaj Madni himself has questioned whether or not the sons of politicians deserved a chance to seek employment and livelihood.