HC allows State govt to announce results

DIMAPUR, MARCH 13 (MExN): Almost six months after the stay order of the Gauhati High Court following the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the Chakhesang Public Organization (CPO), the court has allowed the Nagaland government to finalize the recruitment process which had been held back. This was stated in a press note issued by CPO President Sovenyi and General Secretary Kekhwengulo Lea. According to the CPO, the PIL which was filed in September 2010 came up for hearing on the 3rd of March, 2011 before the principle bench of Gauhati High Court.
It was disclosed that the Advocate General of Nagaland submitted that the State cabinet had on 17th of February, 2011 decided to increase the BT reservation for the three tribes namely Chakhesang, Zeliang and Pochury tribes from the existing 8% to 10% with 4% to the Chakhesang tribe, 4% to the Zeliang tribes and 2% to the Pochury tribe. The Advocate General also submitted an appeal that the PIL filed by the CPO be “closed since the principle grievances of the petitioners have been addressed by the cabinet”.
“The Honourable Court after hearing both the parties and considering upon the cabinet decision dated 17th February, 2011 have ordered that henceforth any advertisement to be issued by the State Government must be as per the decision of the cabinet on 17.2.2011”, stated the CPO. However in a reprieve for the government and also thousands of candidates awaiting results, the Court maintained that the selection process has already been undertaken and various candidates have already participated in the recruitment process and results have been prepared, although no appointment has been made because of the interim order passed by the same court.
“Rewriting of the advertisements and increase the reservation to certain tribes may upset the reservations made in favour of the other tribes and some of the candidates may be deprived of selection and none of those candidates, who may be deprived, are parties to the writ petition”, stated the court as per the CPO’s statement. Accordingly, the State Government is allowed to finalize the recruitment process as per the terms and conditions as laid down in the advertisements on which recruitment process have already been initiated.
Gauhati High Court directive to follow new quota policy
In the matter of the PIL in question, according to the CPO, the Court maintained that the petition had raised “substantial questions of law and therefore, admit the PIL for further consideration as and when it came up for hearing serially giving the petitioners the liberty to notify the court on the action of implementation of the policy which is to be notified on the basis of the cabinet decision dated 17/2/11”.
The CPO has expressed its appreciation to all concern for patiently awaiting the outcome of the court and “allow the process of law to deliver justice to the deserving citizens and whereby rectifying the loopholes in the policy”. The CPO also appreciated the State Government for taking positive decisions keeping in mind the ground realities. “It may be mentioned here that the increase of percentage is not the primary concern of CPO but the recognition to its bonafide right and conceding to the fundamental demand for justice is what matters”, the CPO stated.
The CPO while appreciating the state cabinet decision to conduct a total review in the earliest possible time after completing the 2011 census, has once again urged the State to set up an Independent Commission to conduct a total review covering all the Naga Tribes in the State of Nagaland and bring out an extensive report that can “re-define the status of all tribes, an up to date evaluation of progress made by concern tribes and review the existing policy to suit the changes with time”.
The CPO maintained that the policy must be reviewed in the line of the several demands made by various tribes and NGOs particularly the Naga Students’ Federation and “re-structured the policy to clearly re-define the status of all the Naga tribes and deliver benefit to the deserving group”. “Mathematical exercise and re-distribution of percentage reservation alone cannot uplift the status of backwardness or assess the progress made by the Policy”.
Significantly, the CPO stated that the “Chakhesang tribe need not be construed as demanding for BT reservation benefit or retaining the BT status indefinitely”. “It would be a matter of pride and honour for the community to be elevated to advance category through proper review by a competent and expert body giving clear yardstick to affect changes”.   
The CPO stated that “all members of a particular tribe may not necessarily be backward both economically and educationally or its adequacy in representation to the Government services varies from pocket to pocket”. “Hence, a full commission can study the variations and incorporate a criterion whereby a creamy layer be defined in order to provide reservation benefit to the targeted areas and draw the policy closer to the targeted group”.