Press Release: Lokayukta.

18th August, 2016

Team ACAUT met members of the Standing Committee on Lokayukta, constituted by the NLA, at Kohima, 17th August, and submitted the points to be included in the final draft of the Nagaland Lokayukta Act. The Standing Committee led by its Chairman, Er. Livi Rengma, and members, namely, C. Apok Jamir, R. Tohanba, and Dr. TM Lotha, while expressing the dire need for a Nagaland Lokayukta Act at this juncture, also voiced apprehension that the body maybe misused for political vendetta. On its part, the ACAUT voiced apprehension that the Lokayukta should not become another paper tiger like the State Vigilance Commission whereby even its suo moto power has been taken away with by the State Cabinet, an issue first raised by the NTC. The Standing Committee was also apprised of the danger of senior bureaucrats on the verge of retirement lobbying for membership in the Lokayukta. Therefore, to discourage the political practice of rewarding loyal bureaucrats with membership in various constitutional and statutory bodies, the ACAUT proposed a “Cooling Off” period of at least 5 years after retirement before any retired bureaucrat could be considered for the august office, the ACAUT also told the Committee the anti-corruption ombudsman has nothing to do with Article 371 (A) and thus citing reason that Lokayukta violates article 371 (A) has no logical basis, the Article 371 (A) has frequently misinterpreted to suit vested interest.

By and large, the ACAUT voiced concern that the Nagaland Lokayukta Act should truly satisfy the people of Nagaland; that it should be able to address the unfettered corruption taking place wantonly and with impunity. Dilution of the final Lokayukta draft being a serious concern, a request was put forward to the Committee that the final draft should be made public before it is passed in the coming Winter Session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly.

Media Cell, ACAUT Nagaland.

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