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No need for Lokayukta, we have two commissions: Jammu and Kashmir to SC

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There is no need for a Lokayukta in Jammu and Kashmir as two commissions created under the state laws comprehensively covered the scope of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, the state government told the Supreme Court today.

The state government told a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, R Banumathi and Navin Sinha that the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Accountability Commission Act, 2002, and the Jammu and Kashmir State Vigilance Commission Act, 2011, were similar to the Lokayukta Act of 2013.

To this, the bench observed: “You have a parallel set-up (accountability commission) headed by a retired chief justice and comprises of two retired judges. You also have a vigilance commission. You say these two commissions are adequate and you say that in view of the peculiarity of your Constitution, Lokayukta is not needed.”

“We do not know to what extent your accountability commission and vigilance commission act and whether they

are on par with the Lokayukta Act,” the bench asked advocate Shoeb Alam, who appeared for Jammu and Kashmir.

Responding to the query, Alam said both these state laws, under which the two commissions were functioning, were similar to the Lokayukta Act. To buttress his argument, he referred to section 63 of the Lokayukta Act.

 

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J&K

NEWS 225 Govt officers punished for non-performance

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As many as 225 Central Government officers have been punished for non-performance, the Government said today.

The performance of a total of 25,082 Group ‘A’ and 54,873 Group ‘B’ officers has been reviewed up to May 2018, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

Of these, the relevant rules were invoked against 93 Group ‘A’ and 132 Group ‘B’ officers, he said.

In reply to another question, the minister said during 2017 and March 2018, vigilance clearance has been denied to 80 officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS) on the ground of filing Immovable Property Returns after prescribed time or failing to file it.

He said that from the year 2014 onwards, sanction for prosecution has been granted against three IAS officers on account of having disproportionate assets.

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Yatra resumes, 7351 perform darshan

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After remaining suspended due to inclement weather and rains from both the tracks yesterday, the holy Amarnath yatra was resumed from both shortest Baltal and traditional Pahalgam tracks early this morning.
On 21st day of the yatra, 7,351 pilgrims paid obeisance at cave shrine situated in deep Himalayas in South Kashmir district of Anantnag at an altitude of 3880 meters today.
Till date, 2,08,933 pilgrims have paid obeisance at cave shrine since the two month long yatra started on June 28, an officer on yatra duty said.
He said the yatra is going on smoothly from both the tracks and after being suspended yesterday, it was resumed from twin tracks today.
He said the weather during the day remained dry but cloudy and yatra plied smoothly. However it rained in the evening.
The officer said over 6000 pilgrims left for holy cave from twin tracks and by chopper today. Out of this 3719 pilgrims left from Baltal base camp to holy cave by foot this morning while 1004 left by air.
Besides, 2100 pilgrims left from Nunwan -Pahalgam base camp towards holy cave this morning. Over 10,000 pilgrims are staying at Baltal for night halt today while 4653 pilgrims left for Srinagar on way to their home States today. Besides over 5000 pilgrims are putting up at Pahalgam and Nunwan for night, he added.
He said the yatris having night halt at transit camps of Chandanwari, Sheshnag and Panjtarni also left for their onwards sojourn early this morning.
While the yatris who left Panjtarni this morning performed their darshan in the holy cave today, those from Chandanwari and Sheshnag will spent one to two nights in the next transit camps.
The officer said that out of over two lakh pilgrims who have performed the darshan during last 21 days at holy cave, majority have reached their home States while others are on way back.
The two -month long yatra will culminate on Shravan Purnima coinciding with Raksha Bandhan festival falling on August 26 when holy mace led by Mahant Deepender Giri Ji Maharaj, its sole custodian, will reach cave shrine from Dashnami Akhara Srinagar.
Meanwhile, the 18th batch of 1,983 pilgrims left Bhagwati Nagar Yatri Niwas in a fleet of 59 vehicles under tight security cover in the wee hours today for twin base camps of Nunwan-Pahalgam and Baltal in Kashmir valley.
These yatris will leave for onwards journey form their respective base camps early tomorrow morning.
Yatra Nodal Officer, Jammu, Arun Manhas said that 2178 pilgrims were registered at three registration counters here today. He said over 3000 yatris are camping at Jammu in various lodges, community centers and Yatri Niwas and they will leave for their respective base camps in Kashmir valley early tomorrow morning.

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Don’t pelt stones at army, stay away from encounter sites: Appeals 15 Corps GoC

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While Army chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the security situation and operational preparedness of troops in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, a senior army commander appealed youth to not pelt stones at the troops and urged them to stay away from the sites where anti-militancy operations are launched.

General Bipin Rawat, accompanied by Northern command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, visited Akhnoor sector on Saturday to take stock of the ground situation in the region.

“He was briefed by General Officer Commanding (GoC) 14 Corps Lt Gen Saranjeet Singh and other army officers about the operational preparedness, prevailing security situation and actions being undertaken to ensure a robust and effective counter infiltration grid,” defence spokesman in Jammu, Lt Col Devender Anand said.

The army chief, he said, also reviewed the measures and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) instituted and being followed by troops.

Meanwhile, GoC of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen A K Bhatt said army regrets the civilian killings during security operations in Valley.

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