Govt assures HC of apt steps to amend anti-corruption laws

Govt assures HC of apt steps to amend anti-corruption  laws
Asif Iqbal
Srinagar, May 18: The government has assured the state high court that ‘appropriate steps’ will be taken for amending anti-corruption laws in the state.
Advocate General D Raina made assurance before a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Ali Mohammad Magrey during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation.
The high court has already rejected the recommendations by a high-level panel headed by Chief Secretary and had asked State Government to re-consider amendment in the Prevention of Corruption Act to make it more stringent and effective.
While making the offences pertaining to corruption cases as non-bailable, the CS-led committee had proposed to increase jail term from existing six months minimum and three-year maximum to one year maximum to five-year maximum for first time offenders and two years (minimum) to seven years (maximum) for habitual offenders.
“To us, the recommendations made by the Committee for making amendments in the PC Act, appear to be an eye wash. The State Government shall have to re-consider the whole issue in the light of suggestions made by the Court in order on July 4, 2012,” the court had said.
On the July 4, 2014, the court had asked government to consider at-least seven suggestions and it included awarding of maximum of 20 years and minimum of 6 years in jail under section 5 (2) of the Act and making bail provisions stringent and parallel to Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act.
“This court, on July 4 2014, observed that while making recommendations for amending anti-corruption laws, the government/authorities will keep in mind the suggestions,” the bench had said, observing that the menace of corruption can be effectively fought only when the laws, made to deal with it, are effective and deterrent in nature.
“Corruption, which is threatening the very existence of human lives, if not fought in accordance with law, with vibrating zeal and pulsating enthusiasm and an utmost devotion and dedication, may, in the near future, result in a catastrophic situation,” the court had observed and called for the earnest and sincere efforts to ensure a corruption free society.
Meanwhile, a Division Bench of the state high court has sought a compliance report from government by May 27 regarding the benefits accruing from State Marriage Assistance Scheme (SMAS) and HUNAR (a skill development programme) to the identified beneficiary girls in the state.
The directions were passed by the division bench after Advocate General assisted by senior AAG N.A.Beigh assured the Court that the benefits from SMAS and HUNAR schemes will be provided to the identified beneficiary girls and compliance report filed before the next date.
Commissioner Secretary to Government, Social Welfare Department also assured the Court that two schemes will be implemented letter and spirit.