An industrialist in Jammu and Kashmir has approached the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) against the officials of the State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) for inordinate delay in issuing a No Objection Certificate to him. Terming the delay as a human rights violation, the Commission has admitted the plea and sought a response from the government.
This is for the first time that an industrialist in the Valley has knocked at the door of the SHRC, saying that “harassment and mental torment” at the hands of the government officials has “forced him to contemplate suicide”.
In his complaint, Abdul Hamid Bhat, chief executive officer, Rahim Group of Companies in Srinagar, said managing director of SIDCO, Mohammad Mouzam Sofi, and ex-general manager Sajad Rasool Qadri have been delaying the issuance of a ‘No Objection Certificate’ since he purchased an industrial unit in 2006.
According to Bhat, the officials reasoned that a court has ordered a stay order on the sale of the industrial unit, but have failed to produce the stay order in seven years. “Whenever, I asked them for a copy of stay order, the refused to show it,” Bhat said. “I then approached the court myself. The court clearly said that there is no stay order on the sale of such unit.”
The industrialist said that officials of the SIDCO have made various excuses from time to time to deny him the NoC. “First they said that the unit I have purchased is a partnership and the other partner has objected to its sale. Then they told me that a court has stayed the sale of the unit,” he said. “When I clarified it from the court, sometime later they said that somebody has impleaded me in a case”.
After years of delay, the industrialist finally approached the SHRC. The panel has admitted the plea, saying the “contents of the complaint prima facie disclose a case of human rights violation”.
The commission has sought a report from J&K’s Commissioner for Industries and Commerce and other concerned quarters.It has also asked the two accused officials of SIDCO to file the personal response.
The State Human Rights Commission usually receives complaints involving the security forces, however, this is a rare incident where an industrialist has moved the panel over a commercial matter.