Former Army Chief V K Singh Wednesday failed to appear before a Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Council panel for a second time in connection with the privilege motion against him, even as the Assembly rejected his plea for quashing it and referred it to the privileges committee of the lower House.
There was also a face-off between ruling National Conference (NC) and Congress members over legality of the privileges committee of the Legislative Council with NC members staging a walkout.
They demanded action against Gen Singh for non-appearance.
“The Chairman of the privileges committee, Jugal Kishore Sharma, preferred to refer the matter to the Chairman of the Legislative Council for clarification about the legality of the Committee… During proceedings of the Committee, Ravinder Sharma (Congress) termed constitution of the Committee illegal because he said it is supposed to have five members and not six,” member of the privileges committee Devender Singh Rana told reporters here.
Rana, an NC MLC and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah’s confidant, said, “We sought the opinion of the Law Secretary”.
“But the Committee Chairman preferred to refer the matter to the Chairman of Council,” he said.
“I and my colleagues Dar Sahib and Showkat walked out of the meeting. We sought non-bailable warrant for Gen V K Singh to present him before the House,” Rana said.
Taking a dig at the Congress, he said, “The Committee was in operation for last over one year. Why has Ravinder Sharma (Congress) suddenly found it illegal? We will discuss the matter in the Party (NC) and chalk out further course of action.”
The row was over an interview in which the former Army Chief alleged that the Army had paid political leaders in the state.
The Assembly rejected Gen Singh’s plea for quashing the breach of privilege motion stating he was misquoted. It referred the matter to the privileges committee.