In a major development, High Court Tuesday directed state government to constitute State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) within four weeks period. Ruling on a petition filed by a Jammu & Kashmir Peoples Forum through its Council M.M. Shuja to constitute SHRC, the division bench of the High Court comprising chief Justice Kuamr Vassannta Patil and Justice Hasnain Masoodi today directed the state government to constitute SHRC with a period of four weeks. Earlier during the argument, council for state Advocate General Jahangir Iqbal informed the court that the community consisting of chief minister, speaker legislative assembly, Chairman Legislative Council, leader of the opposition in Assembly and Legislative Council will meet on September 17 to finalize the name of the Chairman of the State Accountability Commission which will be followed by the process of constitution of SHRC. The petitioner has observed that right from October 25, 2011 till date no formal chairperson was appointed by the government and a few senior members were designated as acting chairpersons including Habibullah Bhat (Member) 1-12-2007 to 24-10-2008 and Rafiq Fida (Acting Chairperson) 10-02-2014 to 28-06-2014. The petitioner has informed court that the Governments in succession have exhibited complete non-seriousness in constituting State Human Rights Commission right from the date when Justice Syed Bashir Ud-Din laid down the robes of the office as chairperson of the commission. “The non-seriousness of the respondent state touched the ultimate height on 28-06-2014 when even the acting chairperson Rafiq Fida and his associate member Amlok Singh relinquished their respective office upon completion of their tenure of office” reads pill. Petitioner maintained that the right from 29-06-2014 till date the commission has completely become non functional as the respondent state has neither appointed any chairperson nor any member of the commission for the discharge of their constitutional and statutory functions. In print media time and again grievance have been voiced for the constitution of the commission but till date no step appear have to be taken. As per the petitioner, 1983 cases were pending disposal as on 28-06-2014 when the last two members of the commission relinquished their offices from 29-06-2014. Till date 207 more cases appears to have been instituted in the non functional office the commission .The office of the commission among others include the secretary with supporting staff, one inspector General of police, one superident of police with several deputy superintend of police along with inspectors who under the provisions of the act cannot perform any function and they cannot deal with even the preliminaries of fresh cases thus their presence in the office of the commission is sheer wastage of state exchequer without any function to perform.
2015 Kashmir Despatch