Aptly when LG administration is celebrating ‘Brashtachar Mukt‘ week in J&K UT to eradicate evil of corruption and ensure transparency in Govt functioning, it is advisable for Chief Secretary, Dr Arun K. Mehta to order a probe into continuation of errant JJB member, Udhampur despite being flagged red as well as gross discrepancies in his address in checklist, selection list and official communication to unearth officials-NGOs’ nexus prevailing in Social Welfare Dept.
JAMMU : The authorities in Department of Social Welfare (SWD), Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory is reluctant to sack a “social worker” who was selected as member of Juvenile Justice Borad (JJB), Udhampur in a controversial manner and was recently indicted for unbecoming behaviour not expected from a person associated with an institution dealing in welfare of vulnerable children especially girls.
Taking serious view of the fact that one JJB member namely Yudvir Singh was allegedly found in inebriated condition during training program, the Regional Director, National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) in a communication to Mission Director, Mission Vatsalya, J&K vide letter No NI/RCM/Induction/23/2023-24/208 dated 8/7/2023 has urged the authorities for action under laws.
In response to the RD, NIPCCD letter, the Mission Director, Vatsalya, J&K, Harvinder Kour vide its letter No MS/SC/76/2022/1052-1057 dated 19/07/2023 addressed to Commissioner Secretary, Social Welfare Department, J&K UT, Sheetal Nanda asserted that the above circumstances proves that the subject cannot be allowed to work in an institute where the Children in Conflict with Law and Children in Need of Care and Protection are dealt with and recommended termination of appointment of Yudvir Singh as JJB member Udhampur.
As per section 4(7) of JJ Act 2016, clearly states that the appointment of any member of the Board, except the Principal Magistrate may be terminated after holding any enquiry by the State Government, if he become ineligible under sub section (4) during his term as a member. Top of it, as per the sub section 5(6) of recent amendment 2022, if any complaint is made against the member of JJB, the state Government shall complete the enquiry within a period of 2 months nd take appropriate action with one month.
Interestingly, the above communications clearly shows that two months have been lapsed, however, no action has been initiated against the JJB member Udhampur in a serious matter where further delay means more damage to the image of the institution which instead of stooges of ghost NGOs deserves social workers with proven integrity and missionary zeal for welfare of children in conflict with law, revealed our reliable sources.
For a matter of fact, the JJB member in question earlier also pointed by the then District Social Welfare Officer, Udhampur allegedly for exhibiting highest level of misconduct and immorality for attempts to engage in gender sensitive talks with the girls of varied age at Nari-Niketan.
Pertinent to mentioned here that there are allegations of massive irregularities in selections of Chairpersons and members of Child Welfare Committee besides members of JJBs forcing the aggrieved candidates to knock the door of judiciary and crime branch for probe.
There is also alleged discrepancies in the address as well as selection of Yudvir as JJB memeber. He was selected by the selection committee headed by a retired Chief Justice despite the fact that the column No 12 of check list signed by an official of SWD clearly states “Not eligible as per notification”. During selection process, the address in the checklist is mentioned as Tehsil Parghwal, District Jammu whereas Director, Mission Vatsalya, J&K in a communication to Commissioner Secretary, SWD vide its office letter No MS/SC/76/2022/1052-1057 dated 19/07/2023 has mentioned address of the JJB member in question as H.No 856, Jail Road, Udhampur.
Our investigation shows that as per selection list issued by the SWD vide S.O No 205 dated 13/04/2023, the address of JJB member, Udhampur Asha Purni has been mentioned as H.No 856, Jail Road, Udhampur, whereas the address of JJB member Yudvir Singh is stated as Village Parghwal, Udhampur. Surprisingly, there is no village by the name Parghwal so far exists in District Udhampur.
JKGN tried its best to seek view point of Commissioner Secretary, SWD on the issue but failed to get any response to whatsapp messages as well as calls.