SRINAGAR: As government on Friday ordered the appointment of former vice-chancellor Jammu University, Prof Amitabh Matoo, as advisor to Chief Minister with the status of a cabinet minister, the same appears in contradiction to State Accountability Commission’s (SAC) 2012 notice in which it had questioned the legality of appointing Advisors to the then chief minister, Omar Abdullah.
The government order number 1133-GAD of 2015, dated August 21, General Administrative Department (GAD) confirmed Matoo as chief minister’s advisor with the status of a cabinet minister.
Interestingly, the present regime in Jammu and Kashmir, which claims to be taking all possible measures for strengthening the SAC, has apparently undermined its notice issued on February 17, 2012.
The commission had sent notice to then chief minister Omar Abdullah asking him to explain the legality behind appointing Mubarak Gul and Davinder Singh Rana as his advisors with the status of a minister.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti, a day after, had welcomed the step taken by SAC, accusing the then government of misusing the support provided from New Delhi.
“We feel the intervention of the Accountability Commission is a very welcome step since National Conference has always treated Jammu and Kashmir as their personal property. And they have always misused the support they got from New Delhi to empower themselves at the cost of demolishing the institutions,” Mehbooba had said.
She at that time had stated that the initiative by the Accountability Commission has come as a positive step.
SAC while issuing the notice to then chief minister Omar Abdullah had referred the constitutional mandate and observed that under the Scheme of the Constitution, however, the executive power of the State is vested in the Governor to be exercised by him directly or through a person or authority as he may direct. “No order issued by the Governor delegating any such power in favor of the Government or any authority has been brought to our notice as yet,” the Commission had observed.