Attempts by the Privileges Committee of the Jammu Kashmir Legislative Council to make ex-Army Chief General V K Singh appear before it has threatened its own existence.
Shelving further proceedings against Singh, panel chairman Jugal Kishore Sharma has referred the matter regarding its composition to Legislative Council chairman Amrit Malhotra. This comes after a member pointed out that the composition of the committee violated the Business Conduct Rules of Upper House.
The committee had been seeking Singh’s appearance so he could explain his allegations that certain politicians in the state were paid off by the Army.
During deliberations on Singh’s failure to appear before it, Ravinder Sharma, a Congress member, questioned the composition of the committee. Arguing that its very constitution was illegal, he pointed out Rule 257 of the Business Conduct Rules which states: “The committee shall consist of not more than five members.”
“However, the present committee has six members — three each from Congress and National Conference,” he said. Sharma’s argument led to angry reactions from NC members, who asked why he did not raise this issue earlier. They said they wanted the panel to issue non-bailable warrant against Singh to ensure his presence. But the panel chairman referred the matter to Malhotra, shelving proceedings against Singh for the time being.
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