Nagaland Lokayukta gives sanction to charge sheet retired IAS officer

Nagaland Lokayukta

Nagaland Lokayukta

DIMAPUR, JANAURY 24 (MExN): The newly constituted Lokayukta Nagaland has accorded prosecution sanction under Section 26 of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 against a former IAS officer in Nagaland for involvement in “illegal, back dated appointment of Tourist Officers and Tourist Assistants while serving in the Tourism Department.” 

The prosecution sanction against the officer, identified as the former Commissioner & Secretary, Tourism Department Angau I Thou, IAS,  probably the first sanction since the anti-corruption ombudsman body became functional, was accorded by Justice Uma Nath Singh, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Meghalaya and the Lokayukta Nagaland. 

A press release issued by I Meyionen, Inspector General of Police & Director, Nagaland Lokayukta Police, Kohima on Friday said it has been established that the officer manipulated records and also violated the Election Model Code of Conduct. 

The officer has been charged under Section 120B/420/465/466/468/471 IPC and Section 13 (I) (d) r/w Section 13(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 for commission of the above offence. 

The Nagaland Lokayukta Police shall submit charge sheet in the Special court (PC Act) Kohima very soon, the press release informed. 

It may be recalled that Nagaland Lokayukta became functional only in 2019 even though the Bill was introduced in the Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) way back in 2015. 

The Nagaland Lokayukta Bill 2015 was tabled by former chief minister TR Zeliang in the 12th Nagaland Assembly on July 21, 2015. The House passed the bill with amendments on December 15, 2017.

In March, 2018, Governor PB Acharya gave assent to the Nagaland Lokayukta Bill 2017 during the first session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly. Then on February 2019, the Nagaland Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed during the 3rd session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly. Subsequently, Justice Uma Nath Singh, former Chief Justice of Meghalaya High Court was sworn in as the first Lokayukta of Nagaland.

The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman body to check corruption allegations against administrators and legislators, and various sections of the society have been demanding for its implementation in the state.

A civil society group, Against Corruption and Unabated Taxation (ACAUT), had been demanding appointment of a Lokayukta to put a check on corruption, bring about transparency in the system and make administrative machinery citizen-friendly.