Political parties in Jammu and Kashmir have strongly criticised the PDP-BJP government for nepotism in appointments of law officers.
The Indian Express reported today that at least 12 of the 22 additional advocate generals, deputy advocate generals and law officers appointed last month by the Department of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs are relatives of either ministers or ruling PDP leaders, or of sitting and retired judges, bureaucrats, and even separatist leaders.
Reacting to the report, J&K Congress Committee chief Ghulam Ahmed Mir said that the present government should rethink about the decision. “There is a lot of anger against the government over appointments of these law officers,” he said. “Government should rethink on this and appoint competent and experienced advocates on these posts.”
Mir said that the PDP-led government has been doing favoritism since forming government. “It (the report) has exposed the claims of Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed who has been saying that his government is transparent and corruption free.”
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National Conference Spokesperson Junaid Matoo said appointments of relatives of ministers in top posts is a “brazen nepotism”. “They have done in the past and doing it now as well. PDP is already exposed and they are answerable to people. They should come forward to explain this,” he said.
The ruling coalition partner BJP distanced itself from the issue saying that the party was not aware of the appointments. “We are not part of these appointments. It is the domain of the government whom they want to elect for these posts,” said BJP spokesperson Khalid Jehangir. “I cannot comment if the PDP has done anything wrong by appointing these people.”
Independent Legislator Engineer Rashid said that the government has termed institutions into rehabilitation centers. “This should be stopped,” he said.
CPI (M) state general secretary and MLA Kulgam Mohammad Yusuf Taragami said that the appointments should be performed on merit. “We have competent officers in the judiciary. The appointment has to be done as per the norms laid down and not by choosing the kith and kin of the political leaders,” he said, adding that ‘if we don’t choose these competent officers, they would feel alienated.’