Kohima HC Bench sets e-Governance benchmark, Nagaland Lokayukta lacklustre

A collage of screenshots of the Homepage section of the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench’s website taken on September 17. (Morung Photo)

A collage of screenshots of the Homepage section of the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench’s website taken on September 17. (Morung Photo)

NIC &SCPD other top performers in assessment of State’s Judicial, Statuary and Regulatory bodies’ websites

Moa Jamir
Dimapur | September 17

In significant strides towards robust e-governance and upholding transparency, the website of the Gauhati High Court Kohima Bench has become a benchmark for best practices, reflected  The Morung Express' assessment of the websites of judicial, statutory, and regulatory bodies and agencies in Nagaland.

The website of the HC Kohima Bench (https://kohimahighcourt.gov.in) is undoubtedly one of the best, if not the top, among 82-plus websites reviewed during an ongoing series on digital governance. 

At first glance (last accessed September 17),the website fulfils all the necessary requirements for transparency, providing access to valuable resources, historical information, profiles, public notifications, and up-to-date disclosures. Notable features include:

Notice Board: Regular and sequentially updated notifications and circulars. 

Recruitment Section: All the latest information, including links to online applications.

Right To Information (RTI) Act 2005 Compliance: Sou Motu disclosures with the latest RTI Manual for 2022-2023 (last modified on July 26).

Live Streaming: Court proceedings are live-streamed on YouTube every working day.

Case Status: The statuses are available in public domain by evening each hearing day. Among others information, statement on cases in the Kohima Bench from 2015 to August 2023 are available.

Nagaland Information Commission (NIC): Established on March 14, 2006, under the RTI Act, the NIC's website also reflected commendable e-governance practices.

Among others, ‘Guides to RTI Act 2005’ is available in around 14 local languages while the latest RTI Manual is uploaded. Annual Administrative Reports (AAR) from 2011-2012 up to 2021-22 are accessible. 

Most importantly, 'Notice & Decision' issued on Appeals and Complaints filed before NIC are publicly available from 2006 to the ongoing 2023-24 financial year.

State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities (SCPD): Created under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016, the SCPD's website provides relevant data, including Acts & Rules, Instructions, schemes, and sign language videos
Orders issued by the SCPD Court are available up to 2022-23.

However, the 'Annual Reports' section is blank, while ‘Circulars/Notifications’ last update was May 2022. The Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) links are non-functional. 

While a photo of ‘Sensitisation Workshop’ on August 18, 2023 is featured on the homepage, the ‘News & Updates’ last publication is dated August 4, 2022, indicating the need for some streamlining.

Decent but requires  enhancement 
Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA): Created to spearhead holistic disaster management, the NSDMA's website contains a wealth of information, with neatly organised resources.  The 'News' section's latest post is dated July 28, 2023.

The website has embedded Facebook and X accounts and activities were dated to August 20 and 18 respectively. There is also a YouTube account and the last upload was July 5, 2023.

However, some data, like the AAR are outdated(2013-2014), and an RTI disclosure is missing.  Other than regular COVID-19 updates until March 31, 2022, no other public notifications are visible.

Nagaland Police:The website offers comprehensive information, including the unique feature of being accessible in English, Hindi, and nine regional languages.

The active official Nagaland Police’s Facebook link is also integrated within the website.

However, some sections require urgent updates. The 'Latest News' section is dated December 9, 2021. Comparative Crime Statistics are available only up to 2015, though the 'Annual State Crime Review Report 2021' is accessible. In the 'FIR' section, information is available only up to 2017, and RTI Manual is from March 2016. 

An important section containing lists of officers, police stations etc is hidden under 'Telephone Directory' in the 'Contact' section, while the 'Police Telephone Directory' on the homepage is blank. 

Nagaland Pollution Control Board (NPCB): As a statutory body for environmental protection and pollution control, the NPCB's website is fairly updated in terms of the ‘What's New’ section, with the last post-dated September 7.

There is also an avenue for 'Public Complaints' prominently displayed on the homepage, along with contact details for all members.

Regular public notifications are available. However, the RTI section had no information.

Reports related to water, air, and noise monitoring are only available up to 2017, and some links, such as the Action Plan for River Rejuvenation, were non-functional. Data on Action Plan for Non-Attainment Towns/Cities is only available up to 2018.

Nagaland State Legal Services Authority (NSLSA): A statutory body with 'Access to Justice for all' as its main objective, the NSLSA's website presents mixed results. There is good information on duties, functions, Acts, Rules & Legislations. 

While 'Circular & Notice' and 'Advertisements' are intermittent, the latest updates are dated September 2023. 

However, sections like 'Information,' 'Projects & Schemes,' 'Legal Service Clinics,' 'Legal Aid Cases,' and 'Reports' are non-functional.

Under 'Activities' section the last post is a 'Door-to-Door Campaign' on December 3, 2018, while information on periodic 'Lok Adalats’, one of its most significant activities, are missing. 

Nagaland Medical Council (NMC): As a statutory body, the NMC focuses on the registration of practitioners and professional ethics standards. The website provides details of NMC Council Members and maintains a registry of doctors. NMC Rules, 2014, and NMC Act 2014 are available.

Apart from these, overall activities are limited, with only two items related to NMC Election (May 2023) in the 'News' section.

Digital Gaps
Nagaland Lokayukta: Combining the Sanskrit words 'Loka' ('people') and 'Ayukta' ('appointee'), the Lokayukta primarily investigates and addresses complaints of corruption and misconduct against public servants.

However, in terms of digital governance. the Lokayukta Nagaland has a long way to go.

While the 'About Us' section contains information on the present Lokayukta and UPA Lokayukta, other sections lack substantial and up-to-date information. 

There are no histories, rules, functions, and the 'Organizational Structure' section is blank.

In 'News & Downloads,' data is available only up to 2019, and the 'Gist of Finalized Cases' section reflects only "Closed cases w.e.f. 23rd February to 31st August 2019."

Nagaland State Commission for Women:The website is poorly maintained with limited resources andblank links.Apart from brief 'Vision' and 'Mission' statements on the homepage, the 'About Us' and 'Act' sections are blank. 

There are no RTI disclosures, and only one report titled 'A Report on NSCW '2019-December 2020' is uploaded. There are no notifications or circulars.

The only saving grace is two seminar reports dated August 28, 2023 in the 'News' category, the only updates since July 29, 2021.

This is the part III of a series on assessment of digital governance of departments and agencies under the Government of Nagaland.

Read Part I,II and IV-VI here: 

Taxes tops Nagaland Government’s departmental digital initiative assessment-I
Not top-notch: Nagaland top executives' websites fail to impress-II
Most business-related websites under Nagaland Govt need ‘rehabilitation’ -IV
Tech Proficiency: NPSC, NSSB engaging; ATI & SIRD require 'refresh button' -V
Nagaland State Portal: Impressive but requires upgradation- VI