Dimapur, May 2: The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has come out strongly against the appointment of several political party workers to the rank and status of Cabinet and State Ministers and has asked the State Government to immediately suspend or revoke the appointment orders.
In a press release, NPRAAF said the action of the State Government amounts to hoodwinking the constitutional mandate contained in Article 164(1A) which was adopted with the view for “minimum government and maximum governance”.
The forum also reminded that the State Government is in deep financial lurch and that such appointments would further burden the State exchequer.
“The 91st Amendment Act of 2003 which was passed in 1st Jan 2004 was passed by parliament with a view to minimize the expenditure on office of profit and the amendment was major austerity measure which is diluted by the random backdoor appointments of Ministers,” it said.
The NPRAAF reminded that the Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice J. Chelameswer, Justice RK Agrawal and Justice Sapre on 26 July 2017 ruled that Article 194 does not authorize the State legislative to create office of profit even by legislation. “However, in this context office of profit was created even without legislation. The court declared this while giving a ruling to Assam Parliamentary secretaries (Appointment, salaries, Allowances and Miscellaneous provision) Act 2004 as unconstitutional,” it stated.
“The question posed before the court was whether Article 194(3) and entry 39 of the 7th schedule authorized the state legislature to make impugned Act.”
The NPRAAF appealed to the Government to be objective in its governance and get down to business for the welfare of the people, saying the mere slogan of “Change is Coming” or taking down lal pati from the vehicle head and removing name plates from cars will not benefit the people at all.
“It is equally important that the Govt do away with unnecessary decoration with rank and status of a person to give them false pride and encourage class division among Nagas besides burdening the state exchequer,” it said.
The NPRAAF said when the elected MLAs are bereft of the status and rank of a Minister “it is laughable that several party workers including two non-Nagas are appointed in the rank of Cabinet and State Ministers, which is an insult to the constitution and the Nagas.”
The release informed that the executive council meeting of NPRAAF on May 2 passed a resolution that if the State Government do not suspend or revoke the appointment orders immediately, the NPRAAF will take the matter to any level to protect the constitution and the people. “The Govt may take note that taking the matter lightly could affect the appointment of Advisors who were also appointed against the spirit of 91st amendment reportedly in consultation with constitutional experts,” it cautioned. (Page News Service)