In LC, lawmakers spar over summons to VK Singh

In LC, lawmakers spar over summons to VK Singh

JAMMU: The Legislative Council on Wednesdaywitnessed ruckus after members of ruling National Conference asked House chairman to give his judgment over the legality of the Privilege Committee that had been formed to summon former chief of Indian Army Gen V K Singh over his remarks that the Army has been paying J&K politicians since 1947.
“The matter is very serious. Please pass the judgment today so that I won’t have any moral burden of being part of the committee which was supposed to summon Gen Singh,” NC’s Davendra Singh Rana said.
Rana’s colleague Ajay Sadhotra, who is also the leader of the House, said the LC chairman has authority to relax rules while forming any committee. “You have the authority to relax the rules. And if you have formed committee it is automatically seen that you have relaxed the rules,” Sadhotra said, who is also Planning and Development Minister in Omar Abdullah-led coalition government
To this Congress legislator Ravendra Sharma said the composition of the six-member committee was unconstitutional and he still stands by his observation which was made by him under rule number 257 of the LC.
“It came to my knowledge that the composition of the Privilege Committee should not have more than five members, and in order to check the legality of the committee it was referred to the chairman of the House. Now it is up to your wisdom and your ruling and we are all bound to accept it,” Sharma said.
Sharman’s remarks infuriated Rana who said the House should apologize to all those officers and persons who were summoned in the Privilege Committee in the past and were “harassed and embarrassed”.
“An apology should go from this House to all the officers who were brought here and harassed and embarrassed which is illegal and unconstitutional. It was a political move (by Congress) so that Gen Singh should not be summoned in this House,” Rana said.
In the commotion, another NC lawmaker Jehangir Hussain Mir said Gen Singh’s allegations were serious and a blot on the politicians of the state. “Gen Singh has abused all of us and it can’t be overlooked,” Mir said.
Another Congress member G N Monga charged the NC legislators of playing to the galleries. “The matter is with the chairman who has to decide about the fate of the committee,” he said.
Rana responded to Monga, saying, “Yes, I am playing to the galleries and it is my right to put my point as everything has become shady now. It is a deliberate move so that Gen Singh’s appearance would be scuttled.”
Rana also requested LC chairman Amrit Malhotra to pronounce the judgment as the matter lies with him.
“I request you, Sir please pass the judgment,” Rana said.
To this Malhotra said, “You (can’t) extract any decision from me. The matter has been referred to me and leave it to me. I will give my decision.”