Dimapur, February 6: The Nagaland Public Rights Awareness and Action Forum (NPRAAF) has exposed more dirt on the alleged illegal appointment case of Tourist Officers in the Tourism Department, which the State Lokayukta has taken up.
In a press release, the information & publicity wing of NPRAAF said in the appointment of Tourist Officers, the Tourism Department has flouted service rules for over a period of time even though tourism is a very important sector which can become backbone of the State economy.
“The department has been appointing and absorbing 3rd and 4th grade staff deputed to the department through political pressure as a result there is no productivity, the Department should appoint Tourist officers only who have a degree in Tourism studies through fair NPSC exams,” it said.
NPRAAF highlighted that a section officer (S/A) serving under PWD housing was appointed as Tourist Officer (TO) on 28/12/ 2007 for a period of one year when the election code of conduct was in place between December to February 2007-08 and again his absorption as Assistant Director Tourism was made on 02/01/ 2008, as shown in the list of incumbency of Tourist Officer (TO) to up-graded post of Assistant Director, within a week, during the time when election code of conduct was in force. “It is illegal to make any appointment according to Peoples Representation Act 1951,” it said.
“Interestingly his appointment was approved by the cabinet on 05/08/2010 even though the appointment letter clearly states that the post shall be recruited through NPSC,” the forum claimed.
NPRAAF also revealed that the service of another officer was extended by the Governor of Nagaland vide notification dated 16/12/2018, although his name was released in the incumbency list of tourist officers to the upgraded post of Assistant Director/Sr. Tourist Officer as having appointed and absorbed on 02/06/2006 even though he was a Graduate Teacher purely send on deputation for a period of one year as per Govt. notification dated 28/12/2007 and the post was to be recruited through NPSC exams.
The forum claimed that in another order, a person working as Sectional Assistant (Mohorrir) equivalent to peon and another working as Graduate Teacher were appointed and absorbed in the Department of Tourism as per Cabinet approval on 5/8/2010 which was also taken as effective date of appointment even though they were already appointed and absorbed on 02/01/2008 and 02/06/06 respectively in the rank of Assistant Director.
In another case, NPRAAF alleged that another person was appointed and regularized on 13/09/2010 without due sanction from the P&AR Government of Nagaland, which is against service rule and therefore illegal.
Stating that it is mandatory to obtain NOC from the parent Department before absorption in the service to the Department where one is sent on deputation, the forum said thereafter there shall be clearance from the Public & Administrative Reforms (P&AR) Department, Government of Nagaland before ultimately getting the candidates absorbed. “However all rules were illegally flouted in appointing the Tourist Officers (TO). NPRAAF wonders if the Govt. departments has to follow the service rules or cabinet rules. The Govt. must follow its own rules instead of going against its own rules,” it alleged.
The forum urged the Lokayukta to ensure that the illegal act of all concerned must be brought to book so as to instill transparency and faith in the institution of justice even as it investigate the case of a former IAS officer in charge of Tourism Department who was allegedly involved in the corruption case where more questionable appointments are under scanner.
Appreciating the Lokayukta Nagaland for taking up corruption and illegal appointment in Tourism Department, it however unless the matter is logically concluded it will merely remain a one-time sensational news for nothing.
It further urged the Government of Nagaland to fully cooperate and support the Lokayukta to deliver justice as “it is evident in the sequence of development that the cabinet may have been misled to approve the regularization of illegal appointments.” (Page News Service)