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False Complaints Against Govt Officials in J&K to Face Legal Action

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has issued a circular stating that making a false complaint against a government official can lead to penal action. The circular aims to prevent honest public servants from being unfairly harassed and to ensure that government business is not affected.

According to the circular, if an inquiry finds a complaint to be false, the UT administration will pursue prosecution. The action will be taken under Section 182 of the IPC and Section 195(1)(a) of the CrPC.

Section 182 of the IPC deals with false information intended to cause injury to another person, and carries a jail term of up to six months. Section 195(1)(a) of the CrPC deals with prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants.

In cases where public servants make false complaints, the circular suggests considering departmental action as an alternative to prosecution. The circular aims to balance good governance with adequate safeguards for public servants.

The circular also suggests a robust mechanism for redressal of complaints against public servants, with detailed instructions to ensure a corruption-free and transparent administrative system.

However, the circular has been criticized by the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference president, Anil Sharma, who called it a move to silence those who speak out against corrupt bureaucracy.

Sharma sought intervention from the Lt Governor and the central government, questioning how an ordinary citizen from a vulnerable section of society could stand against the powerful state and its mechanisms.

The circular has raised concerns about the potential for penal action to be used to silence legitimate complaints against government officials, and the need for a balanced approach to ensure good governance and protect public servants from harassment.

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