PMO Gets RTI Query On JK ‘corruption’

PMO Gets RTI Query On JK ‘corruption’

16 February 2012
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: For the first time after Central Right to Information (RTI) Act came into the force in 2005, the Prime Minister’s Office has faced a query over “corruption and mis-governance” in Jammu and Kashmir. Bashir Ahmad Malik son of Ghulam Rasool Malik of Drang Budgam has filed an RTI application before Central Public Information Officer in the PMO to get details about the complaints of corruption received in the office and steps taken to eradicate it. “Details of complaints received by the PMO with regard to mis-governance, corruption in J&K State. How many such complaints were received by the PMO? What action has been initiated by the PMO to address such complaints,” the RTI application says. The application has come at a time when the State is caught in a quagmire of corruption with Crime Branch indicting the son of former Education Minister Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed for resorting to unfair means to pass his matric examination and Ministers blaming each other of corruption, nepotism and favoritism. While acknowledging the receipt of the application on January 16, 2012, the PMO has forwarded the application to various departments for providing relevant information to the applicant. Pertinently, over the years, the State institutions have pinpointed to widespread corruption in the corridors of power with ant-graft watchdog- State Accountability Commission- receiving number of complaints about nepotism and embezzlement by ministers and bureaucrats. During the Assembly session last year, the State government revealed that 181 complaints against ministers, legislators, bureaucrats, civil and police officials were awaiting disposal in the State Accountability Commission. The State Finance Commission in its voluminous report had said that corruption has become “all pervasive and omnipresent” in J&K with conventional laws hardly proving effective. In its report, the quasi-official body termed certain public offices as “citadels of corruption and festering sores,” asking government to take “special care” of them by installing close circuit cameras in such places. The report also says that laws to deal with “rampant graft and blatant embezzlement of public money” are falling short of the need and the existing apparatus to deal with corruption has not touched the “subjects beyond the fringes.”