Nagaland Govt asks SC to remove Lokayukta

Lokayukta Kohima Morung File Photo

Lokayukta Kohima Morung File Photo

•    Alleges ‘acts of impropriety’ against Nagaland Lokayukta
•    Says Lokayukta asked CM to conduct enquiry against Deputy CM
•    SC issues two weeks returnable notice

DIMAPUR, AUGUST 21 (MExN): The Nagaland Government has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking removal of the Nagaland Lokayukta for alleged “acts of impropriety,” one of which includes the Lokayukta asking the Nagaland Chief Minister to conduct an enquiry against the Deputy Chief Minister and to file a report in his court. 

The Supreme Court has issued notice returnable in two weeks’ time.

A press release from the Advocate General of Nagaland informed that the case was heard on August 21 before Chief Justice, AS Bopanna and Justice V Ramasubramanian with the Advocate General appearing on behalf of the Nagaland Government.  

The petition, which was filed on March 17, said that the Lokayukta had insisted to “function online from Delhi by making a representation to the Chief Secretary in May, 2019” on grounds that his house is far away from the office, the terrain is hilly, that he has his library in Delhi and for security reasons. 

It added that a letter dated June 6, 2019 “was engineered from the department permitting him to function from Delhi.” “Later when the Chief Secretary learned that one such letter was issued purportedly on his approval though he was not aware of the same, immediately thereafter, a letter was issued to the Lokayukta stating that the earlier letter issued by the department did not have the approval of the Chief Secretary, and therefore, the same stands withdrawn and the Government intends to conduct an inquiry in the matter,” the petition informed. 

It said that immediately thereafter the Lokayukta “himself passed certain regulations permitting him to function from Delhi.” The petition stated that the said regulations “virtually took away all the powers of Upa-Lokayukta.”

It further stated that the Lokayukta “wanted certain repairs to be undertaken on the bungalow allotted to him,” adding that “the Government was to spend about Rs. 46 lakhs.” “The Lokayukta later made another request for being allotted the Chief Minister’s former bungalow which was converted into a VIP guest house,” the petition informed.

The Nagaland Government petition also accused the Lokayukta of insisting upon “writing to the authorities for avoiding frisking at the airport which was also not allowed.” 

“At one stage, he even insisted on continuing on the arbitration cases which according to the Lokayukta Act he is not entitled to do so,” the petition stated.  

According to the State Government, in one complaint case, the Lokayukta directed the Chief Minister to conduct an enquiry against the Deputy Chief Minister and to file a report in his court “overlooking the fact that the Chief Minister is not an investigating authority.”

In yet another case, the petition said that the Lokayukta “alleged that the Law Department is a danger to the Government because some officer of the Law Department in an internal note questioned his authority in interfering with service matters of an employee retired in 2009.” The press release from the Nagaland Advocate General said that the “list is endless.”  

The petition asked for transfer of all pending cases before the Lokayukta to the Upa Lokayukta for the State of Nagaland, to cease exercise of all his powers and functions as Nagaland Lokayukta, and to ensure that the “institutional integrity of the post of Nagaland Lokayukta and the spirit of the Act are preserved.”