LC Panel Probing Charges Against Taj Dissolved


SRINAGAR – The House Committee set up to investigate allegations of land-grab against top Congress party leader and cabinet Minister, Taj Mohiuddin was Monday dissolved in wake of pulling out of members by the largest party in the state legislature – the National Conference.

Legislative Council Chairman, Amrit Malhotra, dissolved the committee citing pulling out by the members of the NC as the main reason behind the decision.

“I decided to dissolve the five member committee in wake of the largest party pulling out of the probe”, Malhotra told KNS over phone from Jammu.

The fate of the panel had become an enigma after another member of the panel, Bashir Ahmad Magray of the Congress was reported to have resigned from the panel. However, Magray had maintained that he had not tendered his resignation, a view upheld by Malhotra.

“No I have no knowledge about Magray’s resignation. I did not receive the letter”, the LC Chairman said.

The LC Chairman denied accusations that he had dissolved the committee under pressure from the National Conference and Congress. “There was no pressure on me. However, in a day or two I will explain the matter further”, he said.

Echoing his views, state Congress Chief Saifuddin Soz said the committee was dissolved as NC had opposed it. “NC being the largest party pulled out of the committee that is why it was dissolved”, Soz said.

However, he said the Coalition Coordination Committee did not discuss the issue.

Meanwhile, Minister for PHE, Taj Mohiuddin today welcomed the dissolution of the committee probing charges against him. “This is a good and welcome step”, he said.

Taj said he is not averse to a probe into allegations of land grab against him. “I am not against probe. This was for the first time a house committee against a minister had been formed. “, he said.

“Such committees are not set up against individuals but against departments. It was not constitutionally right and would have become a precedent. There are so many other ways to probe”, he said adding the lower house could not set up a committee to probe charges against the member of upper house.

Reacting to the assertion of the chairman of the J&K Legislative Council that with the resignation of the two NC members the House Committee became practically infructuous, NC MLC Ajay Sadhotra said ‘in spite of the resignation of the two National Conference members the quorum of the committee was complete and the committee could have gone ahead with the probe with three members’.

Sadhotra said that the chairman being the head of the Legislative Council has to be non partisan and so it will be inappropriate on his part to bring intra party affairs to the Legislative Council and then fire the gun from the shoulders of the National Conference which is committed to probity and accountability in public life.

“Chairman Legislative Council constituted the committee to probe into the allegations of illegal possession of forest land in Sedow, Shopian by Taj Mohi-ud-Din without consulting the major political party in the Legislative Council – National Conference and today has dissolved the same also without taking National Conference on board and so the onus of this decision either to constitute or dissolve the committee both lies with none other than the chairman of the Legislative Council”, he added.

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