Post Mortem

Lokayukta for social justice in Naga society

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/15/2020 1:11:44 PM IST

 Was it fair for the state government to file a writ petition before the Supreme Court of India seeking removal of the Nagaland Lokayukta on the ground of claiming ‘arbitrary demands’ with a prayer to let the Court direct the Lokayukta to assign all the pending matters before him to the Upa-Lokayukta and to prohibit the Lokayukta from exercising his powers and functions as per the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2017? - NVCO  

The Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation (NVCO) questioned the state government ‘what so great going to the Apex Court for the removal of the Nagaland Lokayukta?’ without first going into the provision of removal. The powers and functions of Lokayukta and Upa-Lokayukta is totally different and for which the NVCO raises strong objection to let the lone Upa-Lokayukta to hold the sole powers and functions in assigning all the pending matters before Lokayukta. The NVCO further questioned with what intention the state government prayed to the court to let the Court direct the Lokayukta to assign all the pending matters before him to the Upa-Lokayukta and to prohibit the Lokayukta from exercising his powers and functions as per the Nagaland Lokayukta Act 2017? 

We all are aware that the lone Upa-Lokayukta is someone who has a background of having political party affiliation as he was one of the Candidates who contested in the last/recent Nagaland State General Legislative Assembly Election with NDPP ticket and got defeated and for which it is not save to let the present Upa-Lokayukta to run Nagaland Lokayukta.  

The President of NVCO Kezhokhoto Savi said that section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act, 2013 makes provision for establishments of Lokayukta for the states to inquire into allegation of corruption against certain public functionaries. The Lokpal Act, which envisages appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in states to look into cases of corruption against certain categories of public servants. An anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazarre fought for the establishment of Lokpal and Lokayukta in the states. 

With so much of pressure from civil societies including ACAUT Nagaland, PSAN, NVCO, etc and of course finally from the Supreme Court of India’s direction the Nagaland State Governor appointed Justice Uma Nath Singh retired chief justice of Meghalaya High Court as the Lokayukta for the state on February 2, 2019 and at that time while welcoming Lokayukta in the state NVCO President Kezhokhoto Savi, Advocate asked the State Government to allow Lokayukta to work independently without lack of prosecution powers and also to provide sufficient manpower with proper facilities so as to enable Lokayukta to work in Nagaland as the most effective and powerful statutory body that is empowered to probe complaints of abuse of position and corruption against public servants. 

The offices including the state chief minister office comes under the ambit of Lokayukta. The main objective of Lokayukta is to curb the menace of corruption providing within the State. When any individual makes a complaint against the ‘public servant’ relating to corruption, mal-administration, favouritism, nepotism, etc, the Lokayukta looks into such matters and investigates and if they find out that the allegations are true, the public servant is punished. Lokayukta is a great check on corruption, bring about transparency in the system, to make state administration machinery citizen friendly. Lokayukta protects Citizen right against mal-administration, corruption, delay, inefficiency, non-transparency, abuse of position, improper conduct, etc. Lokayukta is the representative of legislature, powerful friend of citizens. The President of Nagaland Voluntary Consumers’ Organisation(NVCO) Kezhokhoto Savi said that  – “Social Justice is the need of the hour” and the citizens of the state look up to Lokayukta to work without fear in bringing social justice to the Naga society.

Press & Media Cell, NVCO

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