Thursday, February 27, 2020
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Views & Reviews

The Objectivity of Lokayukta

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By EMN Updated: Feb 12, 2020 11:10 pm
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On the 25.1.2020, the local papers carried the story of a retired local officer of the Govt. of Nagaland being served the prosecution sanction under Section 26 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 by Nagaland Lokayukta. The retired Commissioner and Secretary, an IAS retired officer, of the Govt. of Nagaland was alleged to have manipulated the recruitment of the staff of a Department the officer manned. Had there not been prima facie, the Lokayukta, I do believe, would not have accorded the prosecution sanction against the officer.

Consequently, the NPF hailed the decision of the Nagaland Lokayukta for taking the right initiative as counter corruption measure. Whereas, the rest remained silent as though the governance of Nagaland has been transparent and such anti-corruption action is uncalled for or it hardly matters. I reiterate that for decades the Govt. of Nagaland has been keeping the disciplinary rules under lock and key as though the governance has been perfect and the application of the law is never warranted by any situation.

Whereas, Nagaland has become the most misgoverned State in the country. The system of governance was dismantled. The system of governance has been riddled with nepotism, tribalism, favouritism, hoard-ism and cronyism as each is usually fuelled by the urge of hedonism. Most of the Departments are virtually privatised to be the domain of a clan, of a village, of a constituency or of a tribe. The system of governance has therefore been in shambles and yet it remains to be acceptable to the people of Nagaland. We cannot govern without the corrupt tenets as those are inculcated into our habits like eating food or drinking water. And the habitual corrupt activities being carried out before our very eyes which strangely fail to irritate anybody as we have developed hypesthesia to heinous crimes though committed endlessly in governance.

Under the existing system, anyone who becomes expert in destroying the developmental projects ruins the Department and becomes the novel coronavirus of the State is fondly tipped to be the hero and is the most wanted icon in most of the public functions. An authority who is more brazen and daring in corruption becomes indispensable and is considered to be the asset of the governance. The reasons are obvious. Whereas, the silence of the general public over the miss governance used to encourage and endorse corruption transforming Nagaland to be the safest haven for people of corrupt. That is the way of life of the people in Nagaland by which the disciplinary laws are rendered redundant.  

Kudos to the PAC of Naga Council Dimapur at whose behest the Govt. of Nagaland had revoked the ‘Lease System’ under the Dimapur Municipal Council(DMC). Had the Lease System of DMC been beneficial to the common consumers, the people would not have complained. Whereas, the Lease System gave benefit only to syndicates of the traders at the expense of the common man.  The Lease System was detrimental to the interest of the people particularly the poorer section of the people as it was exploitive of the gullible public.  Those who are selfish will only have ill motive and are capable of introducing such apparatus by which the economy of the innocent public could be squeezed.

The question is who was responsible for introducing the Lease System under DMC? How the Home Department of Nagaland allowed the illegal system to be introduced under DMC? Knowing that the Lease System was indirect extortion of the general public, how the DMC allowed to retain it till PAC served an ultimatum to Govt.? Does any responsible authority have botheration to assess the quantum of damage caused to the economy of the public under Lease System? 

The Lokayukta is serious about the abuse of authority of a retired IAS officer in matters of recruitment of the staff. Any right-thinking citizen appreciates such initiative against the corrupt conduct of a public servant. The Lokayukta has to do justice to the State of Nagaland by booking all those public servants who had misused the delegated power violating the set parameters. The Lokayukta has to detect and appropriately penalise all those other officers should anyone else had committed a similar crime against the public while in service. The Lokayukta is expected not to target just the retired servants but including the serving employees whoever is found guilty of misusing power. Also, the Lokayukta is not established to be the watchdog over the appointed alone but also for the elected too. Neither the appointed nor the elected is infallible nor immune from the purview of Lokayukta as I understand the objective of setting up the Lokayukta in Nagaland. I, therefore, expect Nagaland Lokayukta to be proactive, daring and free from encumbrances for the reason that reformation of Nagaland largely relies on this body. The actions of Lokayukta are supposed to be objective and holistic and not otherwise. The decisions of Lokayukta are expected to worth its name.

Z Lohe

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By EMN Updated: Feb 12, 2020 11:10:59 pm