Over ambitious SAC
The State Administrative Council (SAC) is getting more and more attention from the people, though not for the decisions it takes but people’s interest has been generated in its functioning for reversing earlier decisions cleared by the previous governments. SAC has over the last two months also got involved in major policy decisions that have generated much heat among the political circles here.
SAC’s way of functioning has generated lot of discussions primarily owing to the fact that the decisions are being taken which will have a serious bearing on the institutions functioning in the state.
SAC has in its last meeting held in Jammu cleared a proposal that renders the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) incapable of probing any complaint of human rights violation submitted one year after the incident.
This move has surprised various stake holders owing to the implications the decision will have on the cases that are reported late in the SHRC for seeking redressal.
The SAC has without consulting the legal luminaries amended the Jammu & Kashmir Protection of Human Rights Act, limiting to one year the time in which victims can approach the rights panel.
Though there was no such limitation period in the state Act earlier. The victim could approach the rights panel even after 20, 30 years after the incident, but the SAC amendment has closed this option.
The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) came into existence in the year 1997 by virtue of an Act called J&K Protection of Human Rights Act. The rights body was often termed a toothless tiger due to non-implementation of its recommendations by the government.
According to official records out of 229 recommendations made by the panel since 2009, only 58 have been accepted by the government. Worse, the state government did not even inform the SHRC about the action taken on its recommendations.
SAC has over the past few weeks also got involved in approving various other policy decisions that have created a furor in the state. The bringing of J&K Bank under RTI and turning it into a PSU and reversing the Roshini act have been two major policy decisions that have created ripples in political circles here.
The reversal of Roshini act and steps to exercise governmental control on J&K Bank have meant that the SAC has set on an over ambitious plan to do things in a haste.
These decisions should have been taken after a wider debate and consultation, but that does not seem to be the case. The decisions have been taken in isolation and these decisions have a much wider impact that the SAC could comprehend.
SAC, for all practical purposes is a temporary or a stop gap arrangement. The decisions that have been taken or might be taken in coming weeks have a long time bearing on the institutions of the state and the people here. Therefore, the decisions taken should be much wiser and broad based rather than to the liking of any individual or class of people.