Lawbreakers

Published at November 10, 2017 12:06 AM 0Comment(s)930views


Lawbreakers

A recent revelation under Right to Information (RTI) will shock you if you live in a system that ensures accountability. According to a reply reported by a section of press 62 legislators are holding multiple accommodations in Srinagar and Jammu thus not only violating the standing rules but also adding to the problems of the government in dealing with the crisis in the wake of the shortage it is facing. These legislators belong to all major political parties including ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition National Conference and Congress. Irony is that most of these legislators and even ministers have continued to occupy the accommodation in Legislator’s hostels in Srinagar and Jammu and meanwhile Estates department has hired houses for them in posh localities. The rents in these areas are very high which puts a burden on the state exchequer. Holding multiple accommodations either for their relatives or Personal Security Officers is a blatant violation and cannot be justified. In many cases former legislators and ministers have not vacated the accommodation and some of them have secured stay orders from the court. This has led to crisis in the Estates department since it is facing shortage to accommodate VIPs and other senior ranking officers. Normally a legislator is supposed to stay in MLAs hostel but under the garb of security (which could be better ensured in a gated accommodation like MLA’s hostel) they have been occupying government houses thus leaving little for the officers. Before the onset of militancy in the state no government accommodation was given to legislators except in MLAs hostel. But in the last 27 years it has been virtual loot patronized and justified by the respective governments. In order to retain accommodations some politicians have changed parties soon after the changes in the governments. It was during the brief stunt of Governor’s rule under N N Vohra in 2015, a guideline was issued for the allotment of accommodation for politicians but it was thrown to the winds after a political government took over. It was much needed step Mr Vohra had taken to bring some accountability. While these lawmakers are expected to make the laws, and uphold them and become an example in the society, they have become habitual in breaking the laws themselves. In this particular case it is a serious violation which should not be condoned. The government should set up an inquiry and get the extra accommodation vacated from the erring legislators without coming under any influence. If at all government thinks that accountability should be ensured it should act swiftly and make the action public. This could set an example for others to follow.

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