Final hearing on PIL against backdoor appts inconclusive

Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 26 (NPN): | Publish Date: 7/26/2018 11:40:17 PM IST

 The final hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against alleged illegal backdoor appointments filed by Public Service Aspirants of Nagaland (PSAN) and ACAUT at Gauhati High Court, Kohima bench remained inconclusive even after the court proceedings went on for more than three hours here on Thursday.  

A good number of PSAN members and ACAUT activists were present at the High Court premise since morning for the hearing, which was subsequently deferred to the afternoon.

Briefing media persons at Hotel Ura later in the evening, PSAN member Ngukato said the court was yet to give its observation. He said ACAUT and PSAN had decided to wait for the order, after which the next course of action would be decided.

Ngukato asserted that both the organisations would not back off in their fight against backdoor appointments and corruption in the State government. The PSAN member remarked that it was disheartening to observe government lawyers arguing for dismissal of the petition by claiming that both PSAN and ACAUT, which had questioned 706 backdoor appointments, did not have any locus standi.  

Alleging that 308 Class I gazetted, 177- Class II non-gazetted and 170 Class III non-gazetted officials were appointed without any advertisement, PSAN said when such a huge number of officials were illegally appointed, it was not proper to try and dismiss its petition on mere technical ground.

Along with ACAUT, PSAN reaffirmed to take the battle to a higher level, if the court order did not favour them. The organisation claimed that eight public service aspirants had enough evidence to prove that they were aggrieved and reiterated that anything illegal would remain illegal, and that the excuse of not having locus standi was not fair.

Stating the legal battle was not for its members only, PSAN asserted that all citizens of the State should be given equal opportunity in the matter of government service through open competitive exam.

The organisation stating its members were highly encouraged with advocate Zhekheli Zhimomi and her juniors for standing up firmly for the people by strongly arguing against backdoor appointments and corruption in the government.  

PSAN said its lawyers were up against some of the best government lawyers in the State and had been fighting its case free of cost. It observed that lawyers like Zhimomi could bring change in the society.  

Lashing out at the State government for allegedly violating its own rules, the organisation cautioned that if Nagas did not rise up against such practices, Nagaland would never have a bright future.

ACAUT core team member Tia Longchar, who too addressed the media, alleged that the government used all its powers to overwrite all rules and select its own people, especially in home department. He said such a practice was nullifying all the hard work of bright and meritorious youth and called for putting an end to it.

Though backdoor appointments persist in spite of the June 6, 2016 high court order that upheld all appointments, he exuded confidence that the judiciary system would not let the hope of thousands of youth down.  

Demand for SSC: Meanwhile, expressing dismay over the meeting with chief minister Neiphiu Rio on June 25, PSAN said it was surprised to see his cabinet directing P&AR department to see the feasibility of setting up a Staff Selection Commission (SSC) in the State.

Recalling the promise of transparency and meritocracy made by PDA partners before coming to power by displaying PSAN protest pictures in their banners, posters and advertisements, and asking people to vote for them during the last Assembly election, the organisation said the PDA government had a “moral responsibility” to live up to its motto of “change is coming”.

PSAN said if States like Arunachal Pradesh and Assam could establish SSC, there was no reason why Nagaland could not establish one, which, according to it, would streamline the recruitment process in the State.

It demanded setting up of the commission without any further delay and excuse.


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