Anticipating that the repercussions of the J&K Legislative Council Privilege Committee issuing summons to former Army Chief General (Retd) V K Singh for his pay-off allegations would dim the Congress’ prospects in the forthcoming Parliamentary elections, the party members of the panel have begun lobbying to get the summons revoked.
“V K Singh is an ex-Army Chief. He is a respectable person and headed a respectful institution. Nobody wants to show disrespect to the former Army Chief and summon him,” J&K Legislative Council Privilege Committee chairman and Congress MLC Jugal Kishore Sharma said. However, he was quick to add that General Singh should have replied to the summons that was issued to him by the LC panel. “He should have filed the reply as he did with the Legislative Assembly. Had he filed his reply, there would have been no problem and no need for a second step”.
The Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council took a strong exception to the pay-off charges General V K Singh levelled against the ministers and politicians of the state. The ex-Army Chief was summoned by both the Houses of the Legislature in the state. He submitted his reply in writing to Legislative Assembly Speaker Mubarak Gul on November 19 and requested him to quash the proceedings against him.
In his reply, he said that he respected Legislatures and Legislators of the country and stated that he was misquoted by the media.
However, General Singh on January 9 failed to appear before the Privilege Committee of the Legislative Council. The LC panel had on December 8 summoned General Singh on the basis of a privilege motion moved against him in the Upper House of the legislature in October last year, by three NC MLCs.
Sharma said he has called the meeting of the Privilege Committee on January 20, two days ahead of the ex-General’s appearance before the panel, to discuss the issue afresh in a letter submitted by him to Legislative Council Chairman Amrit Malhotra through his representative.
“The meeting will discuss why the papers submitted by the representative of General Singh on January 9 were rejected by the LC Secretariat,” he said.The Legislative Council Secretariat had refused to entertain documents submitted by the representative of General Singh on January 9, when General Singh was to appear before the Privilege Committee.
Legislative Council Chairman Amrit Malhotra has already ordered a probe into the episode and handed over General Singh’s response to the Privilege Committee chairman.