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HC asks GoN status of Nagaland State Food Committee

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 21: The Kohima Bench of Gauhati High Court on Wednesday directed Nagaland Government to file an affidavit on or before February 27 explaining whether the Nagaland State Food Committee is presently functioning and, if so, from where.
While resuming its hearing on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by two residents of Dimapur, a Bench comprising Justice Devashis Baruah and Justice Susmita Phukan Khaund gave this order and listed it to be heard again on February 28.
“The instant PIL has been filed by the petitioners bringing to the attention of this Court that in violation to the provisions of Section 16 of the National Food Security Act, 2013 and the Nagaland Food Security Act, 2016 the State Food Commission have not yet been set up. Further to that the petitioners have also sought for a Social Audit to be carried out in respect to the implementation under the said Act of 2013 since the year 2016 till date”, stated the order. The PIL was filed in 2022.
During the course of hearing, the Bench noted, Government authorities have submitted that the State Food Commission has been duly set up.
“In pursuance to that this Court, vide an Order dated February 22, 2023 had directed the State respondents to file affidavit and in pursuance thereto, on July 25, 2023 an affidavit has been filed by the respondent Nos. 3, 4 & 5 (Chief Secretary, Commissioner and Secretary for Food and Civil Supplies, and Director for Food and Civil Supplies).
“A perusal of the said affidavit, more particularly at paragraph No. 11, it has been mentioned that the State Food Commission has been constituted with the Chairman, Member Secretary and 2 (two) members of the State Food Commission as per the Nagaland Food Security Rules, 2016. Apart from that there has been creation of post of LDA-cum-Computer Assistant and the post of a Stenographer. The said Notification by which Nagaland State Food Commission was constituted and notified is not a part of the instant proceedings”, it stated.
However, during the course of hearing, LT Sangtam, the Additional Advocate General of Nagaland, had submitted a Notification dated March 15, 2021, whereby the Governor of Nagaland had constituted the State Food Commission for the purpose of monitoring and reviewing the implementation of the National Food Security Act, 2013.
“It is also seen from the affidavit filed by the respondent Nos. 3, 4 & 5 that a Chairman have been appointed vide an Order dated March 23, 2021 and on April 4, 2022, 2 (two) persons were appointed as LDA-cum-Computer Assistant and Stenographer respectively. The records, however, is not clear as to where the State Food Committee is presently functioning from.
“Further to that, Ms. Neiteo Koza, learned Counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioners, submits that from some newspaper reports it has been mentioned that the State Food Committee would only be functioning from the month of November, 2024, which however, the learned Counsel for the respondent Nos. 3, 4 & 5 stoutly denies”, the order stated.
Accordingly, the Bench directed the State authorities to file the affidavit on or before February 27.
(Page News Service)

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