SRINAGAR: A high-level panel headed by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is likely to appoint Justice Bilal Nazki, retired chief justice of Orissa High Court, as head of State Accountability Commission in a bid to revive the presently non-functional anti-corruption watchdog in the state.
SAC is defunct since August 20 last year after its chairperson Justice (retired) Y P Nargotra and one of the two appointed members, Justice (retired) Imtiyaz Hussain, completed their term in office.
Headed by the chief minister, the panel to appoint SAC chairmen and members comprises speaker of the legislative assembly (currently Kavinder Gupta), chairman of legislative council (Amrit Malhotra), minister in charge Home as well as the leaders of opposition in assembly (presently Omar Abdullah) and the council (NC’s Ali Mohammad Dar).
Sources said a Cabinet Sub-Committee, constituted for the purpose recently, recommended retired chief justices, Bilal Nazki and Permod Kohli, for the appointment as the chairperson. However, Justice (retired) Permod Kohli has reportedly expressed inability to take up the assignment.
After his retirement, Justice (retired) Bilal Nazki was appointed chairman of fee-fixation committee but he resigned and later moved to Bihar to head its State Human Rights Commission in March last year.
For the members, the CSC has recommended four retired high court judges including Justices (retd) J P Singh (in office from 04 Oct 2005 to 05 April 2013), B L Bhat (11 June 2001 to 07 August 2003), Bashir A Kirmani (09 June 2005 to 13 June 2008) and Sunil Hali (15 March 2008 to 03 July 2011).
If the meeting takes place as scheduled on Thursday and shortlists the names of chairperson and members, same would be forwarded to the Governor for formal appointment, the sources added.
In last assembly session, the government amended SAC Act and now a person appointed as chairperson or a member shall hold officer for a term of five years from the date of which he enters upon his office or until he attains the age of 75 years, whichever is earlier.
The revival of SAC was also part of ruling coalition government’s “agenda of alliance”. It is mandated to enquire into complaints of corruption against Chief Minister or any Minister, any Member of State Legislature, Chairman or Vice-Chairman or a member of a local authority, Vice-Chancellor or Registrar of University established or deemed to have been established by law made by the State Legislature.