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Strengthen Lokayukta in State: ACAUT to Govt.

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DIMAPUR, SEPTEMBER 30: The ACAUT Nagaland has urged the Government of Nagaland to strengthen the Lokayukta in the State instead of seeking to remove it.
In a press release, ACAUT termed as “unfortunate” that the State Government has sought to remove the Lokayukta, “who is seen as a person determined to carry forward what is expected of the much needed institution to cleanse the rot in the system.”
The State Government has recently moved the Supreme Court seeking removal of the Nagaland Lokayukta for “acts of impropriety”.
“The Government of the day is reminded that the days of unhindered corruption cannot continue and it must reconcile to this new reality. It may not be out of place to mention that even the Hon’ble Governor of Nagaland while raising the issue of law and order in a recent letter alluded to reports of CAG on siphoning off of funds with impunity across various Departments. While some of this may be attributed to demands by various NPGs as it has been stated in the High Powered Commission report, it has also been found out that the misuse of substantial chunk of the development funds is solely attributed to rampant corruption,” it said.
ACAUT felt that the writ petition filed by the State Government in the Supreme Court is devoid of sound judgment. “How can an Upa-Lokayukta hold the powers and functions of Lokayukta when the incumbent Upa-Lokayukta does not possess the required qualification and criteria to be the Lokayukta as per the Lokayukta Act? It is expected of the popularly elected Government to make tangible allegations against the accused, if any, based on justifiable and objective allegations, rather than personal habits and eccentricities,” it said.
Stating that after a long drawn out battle, ACAUT was successful in getting the Lokayukta Bill passed and Nagaland has a Lokayukta, hence the ACAUT lamented that it has been rendered toothless in the face of the issues raised by the Governor.
In order that the people’s trust in the institution does not die an untimely and premature demise, ACAUT urged the Government of the day to appointment a full-fledged Registrar for Lokayukta to strengthen the Lokayukta police, especially the investigation wing.
On this, it said in most states the Lokayukta or Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption are headed by officers equivalent to the rank of Additional DGP or a senior officer of at least 25 years as a IPS cadre. Assuming that the CAG objections need to be probed, the current staff strength is minuscule, it said, adding the Lokayukta Police also needs to have offices in other districts of the State like Dimapur, Mokokchung and Tuensang, with each establishment being headed by a DIG/SSP and commensurate staff for investigation and support.
Also pointing out that the Nagaland Lokayukta does not have framed rules, ACAUT said this needs to be done by the Government on a priority basis, after due consultations with the Lokayukta and civil societies.
“Eligible candidates with impeccable integrity without any political leaning should be selected to the various vacant posts without further delay,” it said.
Stating that creating public awareness about corruption is very important, ACAUT added that adequate funds should be provided to Lokayukta for this.
(Page News Service)