J&K accountability panel chief resigns
6 May 2006
Jammu: Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission Justice R.P. Sethi on Saturday resigned from his post, dealing a blow to the Government's anti-corruption drive. In August last year, Mr. Justice Sethi was sworn-in chairperson of the Accountability Commission, the first of its kind in the State, to probe charges of corruption against public representatives and Ministers, including the Chief Minister. The Chairperson, who enjoys the status of Chief Justice of the High Court, submitted his resignation to the Governor for alleged interference by the State Government in the functioning of commission. In his nine-month tenure, Mr. Justice Sethi issued notices to Ministers, legislators and top bureaucrats against whom he received complaints for having indulged in corruption. The immediate reason for Mr. Justice Sethi's resignation was the State Government asking the Commission to shift its office to Srinagar with the Darbar moving to the summer capital. This was construed by Justice Sethi as direct interference in the commission's affairs. In November last year, Mr. Justice Sethi had to face an embarrassment when his son and the State's Additional Advocate-General, Anil Sethi, was charged with taking bribes to ensure that a case is decided in favour of the accused. Immediately, Mr. Justice Sethi had asked the police to register criminal cases against persons, including his son.