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VK Singh fails to appear before privilege panel

india Updated: Jan 09, 2014 18:36 IST
Tarun Upadhyay
Former Indian army chief

Jammu and Kashmir legislative council issued fresh summons to former army chief Gen VK Singh (retd) over his controversial remarks against state leaders, after he failed to appear before the privilege committee of the council on Thursday.

The committee had on December 8 issued summons to Singh to appear before it on January 9, after a privilege motion was moved against him over his remarks that politicians in Kashmir were paid by the army.

"The committee has decided to issue summons to Singh through the Haryana director general of police (DGP) to appear before the panel on 22nd of this month at 2.30pm. A copy of it had also been send to the speaker of Haryana assembly, member of the privilege committee Devender Singh Rana told the media after the conclusion of the meeting here.

The committee had earlier issued summons directly to Singh. Col UB Singh, who claimed to be a friend of Singh, however, told media at the council that Singh had sent a proper reply to the committee but it had refused to consider and accept it.

However, the committee members said that they did not receive any reply from Singh.

Singh in a reply to similar notice issued to him by the lower House (assembly) on December 13 had called for quashing proceedings against him by the assembly. In his reply to the speaker of the assembly, Singh had said that the allegations levelled against him were by way of breach of privilege motion moved by the legislative assembly appear to be the case of misinformation.

The privilege committee has three members each from National Conference (NC) and Congress, is headed by Congress member of legislative council (MLC) Jugal Kishore Sharma.

According to sources, the NC members were insisting on issuing non-bailable warrants against Singh, which was opposed by the Congress members. The NC has been consistently raking up this issue.

"The committee decided to issue fresh summons following principle of natural justice," the committee member and Congress MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga said.

The privilege motion against Singh was moved by NC MLCs Ajay Sadhotra, Devener Rana and Khalid Najeeb Suhrawardy in the last session of the council.

Gen Singh in an interview to a news agency in November last year had said: "..I have never said that they (ministers and MLAs) are paid money under Sadbhavna (civic action schemes undertaken by the Army). I have just said that certain projects are taken up which help in stabilising the relations. This can be building bridge or a transformer."