SrinagarThe State Accountability Commission (SAC) has required the Government to lay down criteria for entitlement of Government accommodation to various categories of people who are to be allotted Government Accommodation.
Undertaking scrutiny of the Estates Department, a Full Bench of the Commission comprising its Chairperson Justice B.A. Khan and Members Justice J.P Singh and Justice Bashir A. Kirmani found that though the Government had prescribed categories for entitlement to allotment of Government Accommodation but it was all left to the discretion of either the Chief Minister or some other authorities and there was no guideline or criteria prescribed on the basis of which allotment was to be made of the Government Accommodation.
It was also found by the Commission that Government had framed rules of allotment for allotting Government accommodation, Rule 2(l) whereof only provided that allotment would be made to the eligible categories without defining the eligibility in these categories.
It was explained to the Commission by the Director Estates that though the Government accommodation was categorized in 07 categories (1to7) out of which type 07 accommodation was to be allotted from Chief Minister to MLAs, other types of categories were to be allotted to Government officers of different categories, other employees Media persons, political persons etc.
The Director also submitted that 84% of the available Government accommodation was earmarked by Government for Move Employees out of which 60% of Government accommodation is allotted to Secretariat Employees, 7% for Non-move Employees, 1% for Central Government Employees and 3% was earmarked for political persons, 1.5% for Media persons and 0.5% for Freedom Fighters/Artists.
After hearing Director Estates, Commission found that though Government had categorized the types of accommodation and also the categories of the class of people to whom it was to be allotted but there was no criteria or guidelines laid down in the Rules about the eligibility of such persons for entitlement to allotment in each category.
Illustratively, it was not indicated anywhere as to which category or grade of media persons was entitled to Government Accommodation. In the absence of any such criteria, it was left to the sweet will of the authorities concerned to allot Government Accommodation on random basis.
After surveying the state of affairs prevailing in the Department viz-a-viz allotment of Government Accommodation, Commission required the Government to supplement Rules of allotment by prescribing eligibility/criteria for entitlement to the allotment of Government accommodation.
The Commission accordingly made recommendations in this regard to the Government to do so and to report status on the next date of hearing i.e. 24-05- 2018. (KNS)
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