NPF sets 7-days deadline to revoke Vigilance Commissioner’s appointment

NPF sets 7-days deadline to revoke  Vigilance Commissioner’s appointment

Kohima, June 4: The opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) demanded revocation of the appointment of State Vigilance Commissioner, while also expressing doubt about the role of the Governor to check corruption in the State.
The Governor had earlier stopped appointment of retired DGP, Z. Kire as Vigilance Commissioner as there was an alleged scam in the Police Department under Police modernization programme. But this time when the High Court has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into alleged Nagaland High Court scam the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) Government headed by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) appointed Mayang Lima, retired Principal, District & Session Judge and Ex-NDPP candidate as Vigilance Commissioner of the State Vigilance Department.
The opposition smells a rat on the appointment of Mayang Lima as the Vigilance Commissioner and demanded Governor P B Acharya to revoke the appointment order. Leader of Opposition, T R Zeliang and the party have written to the Governor separately demanding cancellation of the appointment.
Zeliang in the letter to the Governor cited Cabinet Resolution dated 9th April 1976 wherein it has stated that the post of State Vigilance Commissioner in the State of Nagaland was created through a Cabinet Resolution dated 9th April 1976.
Referring to the relevant portion of the resolution, Zeliang said, “Thus, on reading the Resolution (supra), what transpires is the fact that the Government of Nagaland in its wisdom had decided to equate the status of the State Vigilance Commissioner with that of the Chairman, Nagaland Public Service Commission. Further, it is intended that the State Vigilance Commission should be a high-level Commission to be headed by a retired High Court Judge or retired Senior Executive Officer independent of Government Departments with autonomous status like the State Public Service Commission.”
Zeliang stated that the State Vigilance Commission has to undertake enquiry into any transaction in which a public servant is suspected or alleged to have acted for improper purpose or in a corrupt manner besides enquiry into complaints of corruption, misconduct, misdemeanour, etc., of the public servants including members of the All India Services.
The Leader of the Opposition said the Commission also has to make recommendation and initiate suitable review of procedure and practices of administration insofar as they relate to maintenance of integrity of administration.
“The Resolution (supra) has assigned the State Vigilance Commission with heavy responsibilities and duties of works/functions which are more serious than what have been assigned with the State Public Service Commission. The functions of the Chairman or the member of State Public Service Commission cannot be equated or compared with the functions and duties assigned with the State Vigilance Commissioner. The serious nature of duties and responsibilities assigned could be understood if the relevant portion Clause 2 (a) to (g)of the aforesaid Resolution (supra) is read along with the intent with which the Government created State Vigilance Commission,” the letter stated.
Zeliang challenged the appointment of Mayang Lima stating that the impugned notification was issued in clear violation of clause 4 (a) of the Resolution (supra) as the appointee is neither a retired High Court Judge nor a retired Senior/Executive Officer.
“That, the impugned notification prima facie suggests that it is a political reward ascribing on the appointee’s political loyalty to the ruling NDPP Party in Nagaland which can be substantiated by taking on record, the fact that the appointee contested 2018 General Election as an NDPP candidate from 22nd Arkakong Assembly Constituency under Mokokchung District,” he added.
Zeliang further said the appointment of a political person as Vigilance Commissioner in the State Vigilance Commission is a clear attempt on the part of the present Government to defeat the sole purpose of the resolution (supra).
The Leader of the Opposition went to add that against the backdrop of the Gauhati High Court in PIL (Suo Moto) 5/2017 directing CBI vide order dated 2.05.2018 to carry out investigation in connection with allegations of corruption in the construction of permanent High Court building in Kohima, it is a known fact that the appointee had served in Nagaland State Legal Services Authority and Department of Justice and Law against which, there exist serious allegations of corruption.
He said the impugned notification is issued with ulterior motives and with the sole intent to use the office of State Vigilance Commission for political gains.
Zeliang said appointment procedure of Vigilance Commissioner in particular and the office of State/Central Vigilance Commission in general is of great significance as it plays a vital role in checking the menace of corruption which our country is facing and this fact can be gauged from the perusal of Central Vigilance Act, 2003, and also from the case of our neighbouring State under Assam State Vigilance Commission Act, 2010.
“What transpires is that the selection and appointment of the Vigilance Commissioner is not a routine matter and this could be appreciated on perusal of section 4 of the CVC Act, 2003,” he said.
Zeliang has set a deadline of seven days to revoke the appointment or the party would approach the Court for addressing their grievances.
The cock party in a separate letter to the Governor said the Leader of the Opposition was not taken into consultation for the appointment of Vigilance Commissioner and that Mayang Lima is a member of the NDPP.
The NPF said Vigilance Commissioner is not a political post but statutory post. “The NPF express its strong resentment and regretted that the Leader of Opposition was not consulted as it is expected and that the PDA Government had failed in its part, technically and this has to be dealt with the provisions of law,” the letter added. (Page News Service)