Chairman dissolves HC, blames NC for scuttling probe

Chairman dissolves HC, blames NC for scuttling probe

12 November 2012
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Putting the onus on National Conference for 'enforcing' the decision of dissolution of House Committee constituted to probe into allegations against Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Legislative Council Chairman, Amrit Malhotra today held the former responsible for the 'debacle'. Mr Malhotra today stated that the House Committee had been virtually rendered infructuous due to lack of cooperation from the ruling party, whose members had intentionally chosen to withdraw from the Panel. Reacting sharply to allegations of the Chairman, the National Conference categorically stated that the Committee had been constituted without taking their party on board. 'It is inappropriate on part of the Chairman to bring intra party affairs to the Legislative Council and then fire the gun from the shoulders of National Conference', the party said in a statement. Earlier, the Chairman, Legislative Council in a written statement bearing No. CB-HC-1-2012-LC dated today said, 'since the members belonging to the National Conference have withdrawn from the House Committee, which I had constituted on October 16 to investigate into the allegations leveled against Taj Mohi-ud-Din, Minister for Irrigation, PHE and Flood Control by Member Legislative Council, Syed Mohammd Rafiq Shah through a deferred Question No. 220, which was listed fro 11th October, 2012, asserting the involvement of the Minister in case of alleged encroachment on forest land in Sedow, Shopian, the said Committee has become infructuous', The statement has been sent to all members of the House Committee comprising People's Democratic Party (PDP) MLC - Murtaza Ahmad Khan as Chairman and four other members - Syed Rafiq Shah (Panther's Party), Bashir Ahmad Magray (Congress) and Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah (Veeri) and Khalid Najib Suhrawardy (both from National Conference). While castigating National Conference Legislators - Dr Bashir Ahmad Shah (Veeri) and Khalid Najib Suhrawardy, who had submitted their resignations, the letter said 'The Committee does not seem to be in a position to serve any purpose without the participation of the largest political party in the House - Jammu and Kashmir National Conference'. 'I had constituted the Committee in good faith to investigate the allegations and bring facts to light, keeping the rules and convention of the House in view. There was no question of any malafide interest or any personal angle to this issue', says the document. Confessing that the Committee wouldn't be able to deliver its objective due to several pressures, Mr Malhotra says, 'against this background, I am convinced that the continuance of the Committee would not serve any purpose, adding, 'I, therefore, dissolve the Committee with immediate effect'. Reacting to statements of Mr Malhtora, leader of National Conference in the Legislative Council, Ajay Sadhotra in a written statement, said, 'the Committee to probe the allegations against the Minister was constituted without consulting National Conference and today it has been dissolved without taking NC on board. So, the onus of this decision either to constitute or dissolve the Committee lies with none other than the Chairman'. 'The two members of the Committee resigned from the Committee because they had certain issues with the form, content and method of the constitution of the Committee, but they never suggested its dissolution', said the statement adding, 'in spite of the resignation of two NC members the quorum of the Committee was complete and the Committee could have gone ahead with the probe with three members'. In the concluding comments, Sadhotra said, 'the Chairman being the head of the Legislative Council has to be non-partisan and so it will be inappropriate on his part to bring intra party affairs to the Council and then fire the gun from the shoulder of National Conference'.