By Khan Aatif Abdullah
“Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”(Lord Acton)
When power is not utilized through the process of checks and balances then it is obvious it will have deleterious effect on the system of governance; when we talk about governance it does not mean that we are talking about system of government but how services are delivered and which agency is involved in service delivery to the people, at large. When we are taking about corruption in J &K, it does not mean our target is some specific sector; rather it is every sector of the state where corruption thrives secretly and openly.
When we are talking about J & K as per the latest studies and surveys, it is maintaining its position as number one state in corruption. Civil society, NGOs, intellectuals, politicians, bureaucrats, religious scholars and clerks of religious institutions need to bring reforms and for these reforms they need to reform themselves first, so that an impact may be felt by society as a whole; we need to give due attention towards this social evil and need to eradicate it from the grass root level. If the situation remains as such, then the day will not be far away when there will be wide spread injustice, barbarism, anarchy, nepotism and favouritism, corruption.
We see now a days that judicial activism is at its peak because state has not succeeded in curbing the menace of corruption; now since last few years it has become routine that every recruitment list which comes into the public domain passes through judiciary as the candidates, aspirants have become now aware that the recruitment process works in such a way that the gates of corruption are kept open by using one method or the other. Some institutions have introduced well planned technical corruption and even such orders are send into public domain which legitimize corruption and befool the community, at large.
The JKPSC issued a notification in 2016 for recruitment the of 277 KAS officers and 47000 applicants applied and when preliminary exam was held some 40000 appeared; then result of preliminary was published on 23rdof March 2017 and cutoff merit was 270 declaring6 000+ to have qualified the preliminary exam serving as screening test to lessen the number of candidates. One party among the disqualified aspirants became aggrieved and knocked the doors of state high court, which directed the PSC to show the answer key to aspirants. When the answer key was checked, some 16 question were found wrong. Then the court directed the PSC to reframe the merit, the cut off went up to 277 and new 429 were allowed to sit for mains and 429 who were earlier declared qualified now were shown the outer door and dropped from the merit list; they became now aggrieved and knocked the doors of judiciary on the pretext that the PSC wasted their time, money and energy and that they left jobs, fellowships prepared for mains and now that the PSC had disqualified them from mains what sort of justice was this.
The single bench of the High Court came up with a judgment that these 429 should be allowed to write mains and the judgment was challenged in double bench by the PSC led by its council Azhar-ul-Amin; the double bench reserved the judgment of single bench of justice Hanjura. The PSC remained adamant after judgment given by single bench and it even made contempt of the court by not allowing these 429 and stated mains exam in February 2018. This exam was later on quashed by double bench hence the PSC wasted again time, energy and money of the aspirants. Meanwhile, the PSC came up now with a new date sheet traumatizing the aspirants and giving new aspirants no time and then state witnessed wide spread protests, hartals and so son. The government led by Mehbooba Mufti deferred the exam by directing the Chief secretary of the state to look into the genuine grievances of the aspirants .
Now, the new date sheet was issued for exams to be held from September 2018 and further the series of litigation made entry of further 2300 candidates to appear in mains as observed by court as the last candidate among earlier 429 who were in the list when result was declared on 23rd March, he had scored 260 ,and if merit was earlier 270, how this candidate was declared qualified. Here arises the question: Isn’t this candidate blue eyed? Isn’t this clear cut evidence of corruption ? .
Recently, the Bombay University adopted digital evaluation in law exams and 250 students failed on observation by the Professor of the Law school who found that candidates have got marks in double digits and hence students failed; this means that it is full of flaws and can destroy the career of a student. The scanning is also not done in proper manner by scanner, the evaluator evaluates on screen not off screen and virtually the answer scripts remain unmarked. The diagrams drawn by pencil are also not scanned by scanner as statistics portion is only based on diagrams. It seems that a mass scam was on cards and big fish were swallowing small fish.
It is the need of the hour that we, as members of society, need to think over the matter and make arrangements for rebirth of such a culture and society which referred to Jammu & Kashmir as Peer Waer which will be obviously free from corruption, nepotism, favouritism. If we give our attention to eradicate this menace, we will witness prosperity everywhere and it will prevent the state from further entropy. Corruption is like a cancer. Say no to corruption for the sake of humanity and justice!
—The author is social activist cum research scholar and can be mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org