On July 10, the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by Governor, Satya Pal Malik, accorded sanction to the appointment of Chairperson of the Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights. Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi, a lawyer by profession, was given the task to head the commission.
Vasundhara was a practising lawyer in the Supreme Court of India, High Courts of Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir and various other Courts/Tribunals. She is the daughter of the known criminal lawyer of the Supreme Court, R C Pathak. The interesting part is that her father has also fought the case of the pro-freedom leader Mohammad Maqbool Bhat in the Supreme Court. Vasundhara’s mother is from Jammu region of the state.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women & Child Rights Act, 2018, provides for constitution of State Commission for Protection of Women and Child Rights and Courts for providing speedy trial of offences against women and children or violation of women and child rights.
Section (4) of the Jammu & Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women & Child Rights Act, 2018 provides for the appointment of Chairperson and Members who shall be appointed on the recommendation of a three-member Selection Committee.
Vide Government Order No. 329-GAD of 2019 dated 05.03.2019, a Selection Committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Advisor (G) to recommend a suitable name for the position of chairperson.
The Selection Committee held extensive deliberations to scrutinize the nominations in the light of the relevant provisions of the Jammu & Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women & Child Rights Act, 2018. The criteria for the selection are that a proper and eminent person from the social field who has extensively worked for the betterment of social causes is chosen for the job. So, after examining the relative merit of each nomination/application, the Selection Committee recommended the candidature of Vasundhara Pathak Masoodi for the position of Chairperson, Jammu & Kashmir State Commission for Protection of Women & Child Rights.
Vasundhara has successfully argued several cases relating to discrimination against women including the cases of domestic violence. Vasundhara is married to Altaf Masoodi, a resident of Kupwara for last 18 years.
Soon after her appointment as the chairperson of the commission, she did a surprise visit to the LD hospital and took stock of different problems faced by the female patients. She, later on, took up those problems with the concerned officials. Vasundhara as the commission head is all set to settle the issues the womenfolk have been victims of for last so many years. The top priority Vasundhara has is to fight the cases of domestic violence.
– Umar Mukhtar