Tribune News Service
Jammu, November 15
The Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission (JKPSC), which has remained under the scanner for alleged “biased” and “shady” recruitments to various gazetted posts, has been facing more than 500 cases in the High Court and Supreme Court.
What is more interesting is that the commission has paid an amount of Rs 34.83 lakh as fees to lawyers and counsels — making an excess payment of about Rs 10.55 lakh during the past three years against the available annual budget allocation.
“As on date, the JKPSC is facing 500 cases against it in the J&K High Court and eight cases are pending in the Supreme Court. In total, the commission is respondent in 508 cases in J&K High Court and Supreme Court,” said JKPSC’s Public Information Officer Ghanshyam Singh while responding to an RTI application filed by Jammu-based activist Raman Sharma.
The PSC also disclosed that it had moved the HC as petitioner in 15 cases while it had filed appeals in the Supreme Court in two cases during the past three years.
On a query about the amount paid by the commission in contesting these cases during the past three years, it came to the fore that Rs 34,83,200 had been paid by it as legal fees whereas its budget sanction for legal expenses was only Rs 24,25,000.
Shockingly, the legal expenses were double as compared to its annual budget during the financial year 2016-17. “For the year, the commission spent Rs 14,70,300 to meet its legal expense against the annual budget allocation of Rs 7 lakh,” the RTI reply said.
Pertinently, the JKPSC, which pledges to “exercise utmost impartiality, objectivity and efficiency in accomplishing its tasks”, has been facing serious credibility test after the recent reports of forgery of policy documents and awarding of marks for wrong answer in the KASexam.
Consequently, the demands for separate PSC for Jammu and Ladakh, and audit of all appointments made by the commission during the past 10 years, have grown louder.
Commenting on JKPSC reply, the RTI activist urged the commissioner and JKPSC members to adopt more transparent method of recruitment and examination process. “It is only due to failure of the constitutional recruitment panel that it is facing so much criticism from civil society and entangled in legal battles,” Sharma said.
- 500 cases against the JKPSC in the J&K High Court
- 8 cases pending in the Supreme Court
- 15 cases filed as petitioner in the High Court
- 2 appeals pending in the apex court
- Rs 34,83,200 legal fees paid in three years
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