District Court examines witnesses in TR Zeliang qualification case

Morung Express News
Kohima | November 30


After the complaint over the authenticity of Chief Minister of Nagaland, TR Zeliang’s qualifications arose, Tuccuno Vamuzo, Judicial Magistrate First Class, District Court Kohima, summoned witnesses to the Court today. The Registrar of North East Hills’ University (NEHU) and Head Assistant from Kohima College appeared for the examination at the Court on November 30.


As per NEHU’s record, as furnished by Acting Registrar of NEHU, Taditui R Zeliang who appeared in BA examination bearing Roll no. 598 may have failed in 1979. “We do not have any record of the year 1979 showing any TR Zeliang having passed,” stated the record, as read out by the Advocate.


KN Balgopal, Advocate for the Complainant, stated during the Court proceeding that the accused has a duty to appear before the Court. “Court has to maintain impartiality to maintain principles of justice,” said Balgopal.


However, the Court has not “issued process,” which means that the accused is yet to be directed by the Magistrate to appear in Court to defend his case.


President of District Congress Committee, Peren District, another witness, today stated that the matter was revealed to him in July 2015 in an RTI application filed by NTC. An RTI was filed again on August 7, 2015, a reply to which was received on August 12, stating that Roll no.598 appeared BA exam from Kohima College but failed in English, Alt. English, Economics and History in 1980.


When asked by the Advocate if he had intimated any authority, the witness said that he had written to the Election commission. In his nomination papers, the accused had said he passed his BA examination from Kohima College in 1980.


The witness stated that the Chief Minister, the Chief Executive Head of State, should be honest and that the representation made by him will send wrong signals to the Naga people.


Advocate KN Balgopal stated that the case is a point of morality and a point of legality. “This is a case where there is a moral wrong and a legal wrong,” stated the Advocate, maintaining that it is to be considered if a “false declaration” was made in the nomination affidavit to the 2013 Nagaland Assembly elections.


“These allegations are corroborated by official records and statements. It is now for the accused person to come and give his word,” said the Advocate.


Zeliang is liable to being tried for an offence under the Section 125 (A) of the Representation of People Act 1951 which states that the penalty for filing false affidavits/ false information/ conceal any information can be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine or with both.


The ball now lies in the court of the Judicial Magistrate. The order to “issue process” is yet to be passed.
The Chief Minister today was represented by Joshua Sheqi who was standing on behalf of A. Zhimomi.