Major setback for coalition Govt in J&K, Governor returns file on PSC appointments



In a major setback for the J&K government the state Governor N N Vohra has put a question mark on the seven appointments being made to the State Public Services Commission who are appointed for a period of 5 years. The posts included the chairman of the PSC, and six members who were to be appointed on these constitutional positions, which need the consent of the Governor even after being cleared by the state cabinet. Sources said that the file for these appointments has been returned to General Administration Department raising a number of queries.

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The Governor N N Vohra has reportedly sought Annual Performance Report (APRs), integrity certificates, property statements, and vigilance clearance of all the seven appointees from the government. The file was sent to Raj Bhavan for approval of these appointments on October 12 after the state cabinet unanimously cleared the appointments. Sources meanwhile say that the appointments might have to be kept in abeyance as Model Code of Conduct is enforced, and the questions raised by the Governor needed quite some time to be answered. It is also being said that Raj Bhawan might not have wanted to make these crucial appointments at the fag end of the coalition government, and with elections announced it would prefer the new dispensation to take these crucial decisions.

It is most likely that the government will try to collect the necessary information, and send the file again to the Governor for approval but sources said that with model code of conduct imposed, this decision might be left for the new government. On October 10, the state cabinet had appointed Khurshid Ganaie, Financial Commissioner-cum-Secretary Industries and Commerce as new PSC Chairman for a term of five years and six members including Wali Mohammad Bhat, Retired DG Accounts and Treasuries, PL Lachotra, Retired DG Statistics and Planning and Mukerjeet Sharma, IFS, ex-Director Soil Conservation, all three from Jammu, Sheikh Mushtaq, former Secretary, Higher Education Department, Dr Tejit Singh, Retired HoD Ophthalmology and Dr Farooq Kallu, Retired Director, Animal Husbandry Department, all three from Kashmir.
Soon after the appointments were made there was strong resentment in Jammu that once again the state government had appointed majority of members from Kashmir. There were repeated demands that the new government should make appointments to this key constitutional body.