Govt passes executive order after legal challenge to appointment of SMC commissioner

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In a move aimed at staving off legal challenge to the appointment of incumbent commissioner Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC), the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has done away with the statutory requirement of 15-years’ service experience for an officer to be posted as administrative head of the Municipal Corporations in J-K.

As per a local news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the Housing and Urban Development has issued an order to amend the Jammu and Kashmir Municipal Corporation Act-2000 to empower the authorities to appoint any suitable officer as commissioner of the Corporation, irrespective of his service experience, for the smooth functioning of the Corporation.

The order has been issued under section 427 of the Act, which empowers the government to remove difficulties in implementation of the Act, through an executive order.

The order has been issued at a time when the appointment of incumbent SMC commissioner has been challenged on the grounds that he is not fulfilling the eligibility of 15 years’ service experience for the post.

The government has justified the amendment on the grounds that stipulation of 15 years of experience will lead to administrative difficulties in affecting smooth functioning of the corporations and providing better services to the public at large.

Under the provisions of J-K Municipal Corporation Act, the officer to be appointed as SMC Commissioner shall have 15 years of experience in administration. —(KNO)

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