So the first female judge of J&K state, Gous-ul-Nissa Jeelani, has now become the first woman of the state to be a member of any anti-graft body. With a nod given by Governor Narendre Nath Vohra on Thursday, Jeelani will now assume the charge of second vigilance commissioner in the state vigilance commission (SVC).
“The appointment of Mrs Gous-ul-Nissa Jeelani shall take effect from the date she assumes charge of the post,” reads the appointment order signed by the governor.
The SVC, which was made functional earlier this year with the appointment of former director general of Police Kuldeep Khoda as CVC and retired bureaucrat R K Jerath as vigilance commissioner, now stands fully constituted.
The Commission has been empowered to inquire or cause inquiries to be conducted into offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act by public servants, employees of corporations, government companies, societies and local authorities owned or controlled by the Government.
Last month, a high-level selection panel headed by chief minister Omar Abdullah and comprising deputy chief minister Tara Chand and Law Minister Mir Saifullah recommended Jeelani for the coveted post.
Governor Vohra had earlier sought Jeelani’s Annual Performance Reports of the past five years before clearing the recommendation.
Born in Narwara area of Srinagar’s Nawa Kadal, Jeelani graduated in Law from Aligarh Muslim University in 1976. She qualified Kashmir Judicial Services exam in 1982, thus became the first female judge in the state.
During her 30-year judicial career, she served in different capacities including Special Judge anti-corruption and Principal District and Sessions Judge of four district courts- Srinagar, Islamabad, Budgam and Baramulla.
Jeelani was appointed at a time when SVC is “actively” inquiring into 35 cases of corruption against public servants from over 350 complaints received by it.
The anti-graft body which is struggling for proper accommodation in Kashmir and hit by manpower shortage has received around 362 complaints of graft and misuse of official position by employees, including bureaucrats.
After the Commission became functional last February, reports say, it received 154 complaints directly of which it has decided 38 cases. Of the 208 cases transferred to it by the State Accountability Commission, the Commission has finalized 13 cases where “nothing substantial” was found and they were closed.
Jeelani also holds the rare distinction of receiving training from Warwick University England on “Gender and Law”.