Hon’ble Chief Minister
Subject: Formation of Nagaland Lokayukta
The all important legislation—the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 was duly given assent by the Honourable Governor of Nagaland on December 21, 2017. Following this, on January 31, 2018, the Nagaland Gazette issued a notification publishing the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 for general information.
However, as of today the Lokayukta Act remains only on paper.
Sir, much expectation rests on you as Chief Minister to deliver on several issues of public importance.
Sir, it is pertinent to mention that, the mammoth ACAUT Rally 2014 held in Kohima adopted a public resolution for the passing of the Lokayukta Bill in Nagaland. The next year 2015 witnessed the “Walk Against Corruption”, where more than 70 volunteers led by ACAUT leaders walked from Dimapur to Kohima and submitted representation to the then CM Shri. T.R. Zeliang to pass the Lokayukta Bill in the Assembly.
Following these consistent pressures, the T. R. Zeliang government formed a Standing Committee on Lokayukta headed by Er. Levi Rengma, MLA and 4 other member MLAs in 2015 whereupon the committee submitted the draft Lokayukta for discussion in the NLA. Unfortunately, the bill was never introduced for passage in the Assembly but kept in cold storage for almost 2 years.
Left with no option, the stakeholders formed the Public Coordination Committee (PCC) in 2017 comprising of ACAUT and PSAN and 16 other like- minded organisations, taking to the street as well as undertaking hunger strike, between the months of October – December 2017. One of its charter of demands was the demand to pass the Lokayukta Bill in the Winter session of NLA, 2017.
Following this, the Standing Committee on Lokayukta invited the ACAUT for discussion on the final Lokayukta draft on two occasions and whereupon consensus was arrived at and the green signal given to the committee for passage of the final draft bill in the Winter session of the Assembly in 2017.
Thus far, the ACAUT has been most consistent and persistent for the passing and implementation of Lokayukta, which will root out the cancerous growth of corruption in our state and bring about some resemblance of progress and development in the state.
Sir, that your party, the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) had campaigned on the promise of change and reforms. In fact, the NDPP promised during the election campaign that it will “fight against corruption, centralization of power, and restore Rule of Law in the state”. With the public commitment by both your party and the PDA government towards good governance and transparency, we put forward our request for immediate setting up of Lokayukta body for the state.
As you are well aware, sir, having the office of the Lokayukta, will go a long way to put a check on corruption, bring about transparency in the system and make administrative machinery citizen friendly and establish the rule of law.
We believe, as you have also stated in public, that transparency and accountability are needed in providing good governance to the people. We hope your government will not miss out on this opportunity to implement the Nagaland Lokayukta Act, 2017 at the earliest.
We understand that during April 2018 the Government of Nagaland has filed before the Supreme Court an affidavit explaining that the process is on for the appointment of the Lokayukta in Nagaland. However no such appointment of the Lokayukta has been made by your government.
The apex court on July 10 has now granted three more months to the States, including Nagaland, to appoint their respective Lokayukta (by October 10, 2018).
That sir, your government should not wait for the Supreme Court deadline but go ahead and appoint the Lokayukta at the earliest.